A BOURNEMOUTH boy is the star of this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert.

The highly anticipated advert has been released today, with Teddy Holton-Francis, aged 8, the centre of the story.

The campaign ‘celebrates the joy of old and new festive traditions'.

It features Teddy alongside an ‘energetic and mischievous’ Venus flytrap called Snapper, who wants to be a Christmas tree.

Teddy plays a young boy who has nurtured the plant from a seed, in the belief he is growing a Christmas tree.

Bournemouth Echo: Teddy stars alongside a Venus flytrap he has grown from a seed.

The plant grows and grows and becomes a ‘life force of its own with a playful personality who wants to join in all the fun of Christmas'.

It wouldn’t be a John Lewis Christmas advert without a tear-jerking moment, as Snapper is ‘cast out into the cold’ after he grows too big for the living room.

But he is welcomed back into family life and gives out presents ‘with such exuberance that the family find a new joy in gathering around their unconventional ‘Christmas tree'.

Teddy had to keep his starring role a secret from all his friends, as the advert was filmed in the summer.

Bournemouth Echo: Teddy Holton-Francis

The soundtrack is sung by the legendary Andrea Bocelli and will be released as a charity single, with a proportion of the proceeds going to the John Lewis Partnership’s Building Happier Futures charities.

The song is called ‘Festa’, which means celebration, and it was written by Le Feste Antonacci especially for the advert.

Maestro Bocelli said: “I am delighted to take part in this wonderful and unique tradition of Christmas storytelling.

“It is very special for me given the great support this will bring to both the John Lewis and Andrea Bocelli foundations.

“Joy to all of your worlds this Christmas.”

Bournemouth Echo: Teddy with the sprouting Venus flytrap.

Charlotte Lock, customer director for John Lewis, said: “We are a nation that loves the traditions of Christmas - from classic traditions like pantos and putting up the tree to evolving new ones like crafting our own presents and Zoom get-togethers.

“Many of us have our own unique festive traditions and that makes them even more special.

“The film celebrates themes of family and evolving traditions and shows that a ‘perfect’ Christmas is finding joy together with loved ones, whatever your traditions.”

Bournemouth Echo: Teddy with a growing Snapper.

The advert was produced for John Lewis by the advertising firm Saatchi and Saatchi.

Sarah Jenkins, managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi said: “It’s an extraordinary privilege to be working with the John Lewis Partnership, and it’s particularly magical to be launching a campaign that celebrates all of the traditions - both eternal and evolving - that make Christmas so special to the nation.

“The race to be the number one Christmas ad brings extra festive spice and is such a brilliant embodiment of the skills and smarts of the UK’s incredible creative industries. We’re raising a glass to all.”