London dazzles as Take That switch on Christmas lights on Regent Street

London's Christmas lights are twinkling on one of the capital's most famous shopping grounds, Regent Street, thanks to Take That, who switched them on on Sunday night.

The trio, comprising singers Mark Owen, Gary Barlow and Howard Donald, were joined by thousands of fans as they flicked the switch at the annual attraction and kick-started the festive season – and festive shopping.

They revealed that it was a special night for them. Mark said, "This is the first time we have been on stage together for four years."

Gary thanked the throngs of fans who had gathered to see them, tweeting: "Thank you to our lovely fans for supporting us tonight ! #RegentStreetLights".

From now until after the New Year, Regent Street will be garlanded in the sparkling lights, which have a Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb movie theme and read "#RegentStreetComesToLife".

A fireworks display also lit up the sky on Sunday, as Take That were joined by performers Jessie J, Jessie Ware and the Jersey Boys as well as the evening's hosts, London's Heart radio breakfast presenters Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini kick-started the season earlier in November when she switched on the Oxford Street Christmas lights, making it the iconic street's fifty-fifth year to sparkle at Christmas time – this year with 1,778 glowing white orbs.

The X Factor judge took to the stage outside John Lewis to illuminate the famous shopping street in front of thousands of waiting fans.

A glittering poppy stood out against Cheryl's chic black military coat as she was joined by Me and My Broken Heart hitmakers Rixton and 25-year-old songstress Jess Glynne.

"How exciting is this?" said Cheryl as she waved to the crowd. "I'm so excited", she added before counting down from ten and pressing the button to light up the street.