Back to Hogwarts Day at King’s Cross was celebrated despite rail strikes by Harry Potter fans.

Back to Hogwarts Day at King’s Cross was celebrated despite rail strikes by Harry Potter fans.

On Friday, despite train strikes, thousands of Harry Potter enthusiasts gathered at London’s King’s Cross station for the annual Back to Hogwarts Day celebration.

Dressed in wizard robes and clutching wands, fans of the series gathered to the station to hear the loudspeaker announcement for the Hogwarts Express at 11am, asking witches and wizards to board the train to Hogsmeade at platform nine and three quarters.

Fans of all ages cheered when the imaginary platform call appeared on the live departure board at King’s Cross on Friday, when train services were otherwise crippled due to strikes.
TV actor, radio broadcaster, and fellow fan Sam Thompson presented the live event for the second year in a row, and he even brought admirer Manish Pindoria up on stage to propose to his girlfriend Panveet Kaur Bason.

The train’s departure was live counted down to this year by 10-year-old Arnav Partukar from Chelmsford, while celebrity fan Thompson, who named his two cats Albus and Cedric after Harry Potter characters, encouraged people to participate.

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Manish (right) asks Pavneet (left) to marry him during Kings Cross’s annual Back to Hogwarts Day / PA

After winning a contest to determine the Wizarding World’s biggest UK fan, Arnav stated he will “never, ever forget” that day.

Arnav: “As a proud Gryffindor, I just knew I had to give it a try when my parents told me about a competition to lead the live countdown at Back to Hogwarts. All my friends and family know that I am the biggest Harry Potter fan around.”
I’ve had a fantastic time, and it’s been fantastic to meet so many other Harry Potter fans.

Thompson, from Made in Chelsea, called hosting the event a “dream come true” and working with Arnav, age 10, a “absolute honor.”
Albus and Cedric, his cats, confirmed his love of Harry Potter.

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It’s a dream come true to be back at King’s Cross, hosting such a fantastic event for so many enthusiastic people.

It’s been an honor to host Back to Hogwarts alongside Arnav, and I especially enjoyed seeing the community’s enthusiasm for Harry Potter and the wizarding world come through.
Eliya Williams, a nine-year-old fan in attendance, had this to say about the events: “Back to Hogwarts is something I look forward to every time September rolls around, it’s a time I feel really connected to other fans and they haven’t disappointed this year.”


“It means so much to me that they included fans in the countdown in addition to Muggles, witches, and wizards who are all here to celebrate.”
The new cast members and creative team behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play were also in attendance, joining fans in the annual festivities.

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