Singers, snowmen and Brooke Kinsella at Islington lights launch

Angel and Nag’s Head sparkle for traders festive switch on

Actress Brooke Kinsella brought a dash of extra sparkle to Islington as she switched on this year’s Christmas lights.

The former EastEnders star, who was wrapped up warm against the cold, turned on the lights in Camden Passage on Saturday.

In recent years, the Islington born and bred star has used her fame to campaign against knife crime after her brother, 16-year-old Holloway School pupil Ben Kinsella, was stabbed to death during a night out in Holloway in 2008.

Ms Kinsella said: ‘I have lived in Angel for pretty much my whole life and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

“The community is incredible and the support they have given my family over the last few years is overwhelming and so very appreciated.

“There’s definitely no place like home and home for me is the Angel!”

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The lights were paid for by Angel AIM – the area’s business improvement organisation – after cash-strapped Islington Council axed funding for borough-wide Christmas lights two years ago in a bid to save �45,000 a year.

Christine Lovett, director of Angel AIM, said: “We are so appreciative that such a well-known figure as Brooke Kinsella – so respected and cherished by local residents for her huge efforts campaigning for safety for young people – turned on the sparkle at the Angel this year.”

Lights were also switched on at Nag’s Head, Holloway.

The event, put on by the Nag’ Head Town Centre Management Group on Sunday, November 24, featured live music, street performers and real reindeer.

The Nag’s Head lights were paid for by �4,000 from local councillors and sponsorship from local businesses Drivers & Norris, Unite, Breyer and the Nag’s Head Shopping Centre.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, thanked “local businesses, sponsors and volunteers” for their generosity.

Lights are being switched on at Archway at 5.30pm tomorrow (Friday, November 30).