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Full line-up for Countdown to Christmas is announced

THE full entertainment line-up has today been announced for Newport Now’s Countdown to Christmas family fun event.

With the Saturday, November 19, event taking place just two days before Wales play their first match in the football World Cup Finals since 1958, the man behind the nation’s official tournament song will be topping the bill in Newport.

Dafydd Iwan’s song Yma O Hyd has become the inspiration behind Wales’ march to the World Cup Finals in Qatar. Gareth Bale and the team play their first match against the USA on Monday, November 21.

Dafydd will be performing the song – which was released officially today (November 7) in a new remixed version featuring tens of thousands of Red Wall fans recorded at recent international matches – on the main stage based at the junction of Charles Street and Commercial Street before helping the city’s mayor Councillor Martyn Kellaway switch on the festive lights.

Countdown to Christmas, which is organised and delivered by the Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Newport City Council, Friars Walk and Newport City Radio, runs from 3pm to 5.30pm in the city centre.

The event will be hosted by Heart FM drivetime show presenters Jagger and Woody, and there will be some special seasonal musical entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent stars Welsh of the West End.

With over 18 million views, the musical theatre supergroup have become an online viral sensation, entertaining audiences with their show-stopping versions of West End classics. Featuring performers from shows such as Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, Welsh of the West End reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent.

They will be on stage at Countdown to Christmas ahead of a live show at Newport’s ICC Wales on December 10.

Also on stage at Countdown to Christmas will be Welsh singing sensation Josh Adams. The singer-songwriter has more than a million monthly streams on Spotify and his songs have been praised by the likes of Take That star Gary Barlow.

Dafydd Iwan, Welsh of the West End and Josh Adams will be supported by some exciting young local musical talents as community station Newport City Radio hosts the stage from 3pm.

The World Cup theme will be continued with Newport band Tinty and the Bucket Hats, whose unofficial World Cup anthem Waka Waka Cymru (Men Of Harlech) recently topped the iTunes charts. The band will also be raising awareness of anti-bullying charity Kidscape.

Newport City Radio’s Ian ‘Lamsie’ Lamsdale will also be introducing Latin-influenced Zoila Garman and rising country music star Caitlin Mae.

The city’s Christmas lights will be switched on at 5pm by Dafydd Iwan and Newport Mayor Councillor Martyn Kellaway. The event culminates in a spectacular fireworks display from 5.20pm.

The event will also include fairground rides along on the riverfront from noon to 9pm.

Father Christmas will be making an appearance, along with stars of the Riverfront Theatre’s Robin Hood panto, and there will be costume characters on parade in Commercial Street and High Street with children’s face painters in the Kingsway centre and Newport Market.

Countdown to Christmas is the latest in a series of city centre events organised or funded by Newport Now BID, a private company representing and funded by more than 600 city centre businesses.


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