CHRISTMAS has come early for nine-year-old Oliver Caley who will help to turn on Sheffield’s Christmas lights with former Spice Girl Melanie C - thanks to a big vote from readers of The Star.
We invited you to nominate, then vote, for somebody who deserved to take the spotlight on the Real Radio stage in Barker’s Pool this Sunday, November 20, at 5pm.
And boy power will now meet girl power after an overwhelming number of readers voted for young charity worker Oliver.
Proud mum Rebecca and dad Paul nominated Oliver after he volunteered to give up his Sunday afternoons to stand in the cold and sell British Legion poppies earlier this month.
His little brother Luke, seven, has numerous special needs which often limit what the family can do - but Oliver, who also has a sister Sophie, two, never complains, they said.
Oliver, of Middlewood Road, Hillsborough, was lost for words.
But his mum said: “He’s a great lad and we wanted him to win so much, to show how much we all think of him.
“He wasn’t too sure who Melanie C is but we’ve explained to him all about the Spice Girls. I was a huge fan!
“We’re just all so excited about this weekend.”
Oliver, who attends Marlcliffe Primary School in Hillsborough, got more than 50 per cent of the total vote by Star readers, who emailed and wrote in telling us they wanted him to win.
Melanie C, formerly known as Sporty Spice, is herself a woman of inspiration, who has beaten her own personal battles to become a mum and now a top solo artiste, with more than 12 million record sales to her name.
When You’re Gone was the worldwide smash she had with rocker Bryan Adams, who co-wrote the song with Sheffield’s own Eliot Kennedy, producer of the Spice Girls’ first album, who got the two singers together.
She headlines the Real Radio stage, promoting new album The Sea, as part of the Sheffield Council festivities to turn on the Christmas lights in Barker’s Pool, on Sunday, at 5pm.
Also performing will be ex-Neighbours star Sam Clark, who played Ringo Brown in the soap, Shiloh Gospel Choir, Liam Blake, Hype Dance Group, Girls Next Door, Juice, Paul Thomas, a children’s choir and Eli Prime.
Real Radio breakfast show stars Dixie and Gayle, plus presenters Elisa Hilton, Pete Edgerton and Daryl Denham will also be there.
The big switch-on will be a dual event - from Barker’s Pool and the Town Hall balcony, where Santa, stars from the Lyceum’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty, and Lord Mayor Sylvia Dunkley will press another button.