Harrogate singers unite for national TV advert

An iconic UK Christmas advert will have a Yorkshire flavour this year, after 120 amateur singers from the area were chosen to perform its famous song.

The festive Toys R Us campaign features members of St Robert’s Church Choir in Pannal, Voces Seraphorum, Vocalis and Rock Up And Sing! – as well as young singers from Pannal Primary School.

The starring roles came about when Leeds-based Active Pictures Film & TV Ltd was asked to create the Toys R Us advert for the eighth year running. Producer Nick Hancock, who attends St Robert’s with his family, wanted a large choir for the advert and asked choirmaster Kevin Paynes and his wife Sarah to pull together local singers to create the magical atmosphere.


Sarah said:

It was something very different to what we usually get involved with, but it was great fun.

We quickly learned that working on a project like this is not particularly glamorous – a snow machine blasting in your face while you sing is an interesting experience! But Nick was very patient with the singers and we hope he has created something magical for Toys R Us this year.


As well as singing outside a Toys R Us store, part of the advert was filmed at Harrogate’s historic Royal Hall. The massed choirs were filmed on stage performing the well-known theme tune, Magical Place, which has featured on the adverts for many years.


Rhiannon Gayle, director of Rock Up and Sing!, said:

We’ve had some exciting singing experiences over the years, and many wonderful nights at the Royal Hall, but this was a first for our choir members.

We’re all looking forward to seeing the final results on the TV and watching out for some familiar faces among the rows of singers.


The Toys R Us advert was due to broadcast for the first time yesterday (Wednesday, November 2) and will run until Christmas.

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