Darcey Bussell, the Strictly Come Dancing judge and former prima ballerina, switched on Regent Street's Christmas lights – called Timeless Elegance – on 15 November. The event was hosted by Classic FM presenters Myleene Klass and Aled Jones.

Bussell, who's storming the charts with her compilation album The Darcey Bussell Ballet Collection, lit up London as she pulled the switch.

"It was an honour for me to switch on the world famous Regent Street Christmas lights," Bussell said. "It was wonderful to see so many people celebrating the start of Christmas with us, right in the heart of the world's finest city."

Jones said: "What a privilege to help turn on Regent Street's brand new lights. Joined by thousands of shoppers and with performances from some of Classic FM's favourite artists, I can't think of a better way to launch the countdown to Christmas in London."

A mixture of shoppers, Classic FM listeners and fans of Strictly Come Dancing entered into the spirit of a truly British evening in the West End.

The cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, soprano star Laura Wright and British trumpet soloist Alison Balsom all performed live with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

To mark the switch-on moment, the orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Dodd, played a new piece of music composed especially for the event by Pierre Mussche from Musicom.

For the first time ever, the switch-on featured video animations and projections. As the switch was pulled, the lights moved and sparkled in time with the music.