The well-loved film character Shrek has switched on the Christmas lights at Eldon Square in Newcastle.
Ahead of his arrival at Newcastle Theatre Royal in March 2015 as part of the first ever Shrek The Musical tour of the UK and Ireland, he switched on the lights which feature over 100,000 pea lights, and in excess of 25,000 baubles and ornaments.
He may be green, smelly and occasionally rather fearsome.....but swamp-dwelling ogre Shrek has travelled from far, far away to be the guest of honour at Eldon Square today.
The well-loved giant will switch on this year's lights at the Newcastle mall later afternoon.
The display will include more than 100,000 lights to mark the start of the festive shopping season.
Shrek, portrayed by actor Dean Chisnall will appear at the city's Theatre Royal in Shrek The Musical next year but has taken time out from rehearsals to bring some Christmas cheer.
Speaking about the event, Shrek said:
Meanwhile the manager of into Eldon Square described her joy at the prospect of meeting Shrek:
"We're absolutely thrilled that Shrek has taken time out from performing in his tour of the UK and Ireland in this hit musical to visit us in Newcastle prior to arriving at Newcastle 's Theatre Royal next year.
This year's Christmas Lights Switch On will be very special indeed, with a brand new scheme of lights waiting for our Shrek-tacular guest to bring them to life.
The lights switch on always signals the beginning of our very busy Christmas shopping period, so if Shrek needs some advice on gifts for Princess Fiona - we're here to help!"
Some of Britain's biggest shopping centres, including Eldon Square in Newcastle and the Metrocentre in Gateshead, are to get new identities after their owner announced plans for a £25 million revamp.
Capital Shopping Centres will adopt the name "intu" as part of the rebrand for 12 of its sites across the country - a move they hope will increase spending both in stores and online.
The company is also planning to install free wifi across its estate so that shoppers can log on to the internet and its website from their smartphones.
Changes to Eldon Square should be completed by May, with the Metrocentre following later in the year.