The switch was flicked on the Oxford Street Christmas lights on Wednesday, signalling the start of the festive selling season.

X Factor star Leona Lewis performed her number one single as the display was illuminated.

The Disney-sponsored lights celebrate the release of the movie Enchanted and feature fairy-tale icons against a film backdrop.

Regent Street will switch on its Nokia-sponsored lights on November 20. Fourteen 3D light clusters will be illuminated and are designed to respond to the movement of shoppers in what the Regent Street Association claims is a world first. To celebrate Nokia’s Regent Street store opening in December, shoppers will also be able to go to the store and change the lights’ programme.