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Cheerleader performers during the New Year's Day Parade in London this afternoon

More than 250,000 spectators watching parade through West End from 12pm .Scotland Yard confirms police are 'on patrol to respond to any concerns' today. Chesney Hawkes and Paddington Bear joined 8,000 performers from around the world for the annual New Year's Day parade marching through London today.The celebration through the capital's West End from Green Park to Westminster filled the streets with marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats, kites and more.More than 250,000 spectators were expected to watch from the roadside from 12pm while there will be a television audience of 500million, according to the organisers.The London's New Year's Day Parade (LNYDP) ran along Piccadilly, Regent Street, St James's, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, and was shown on London Live.

Scotland Yard said police were 'on patrol to respond to any concerns' and asked attendees to 'stay vigilant and report anything suspicious to them or by calling 999'.

The parade in London will start at Green Park station before heading down to Piccadilly Circus, turning left down Regent Street St James's, along to Trafalgar Square, then right into Whitehall 

Joining British singer Hawkes as headliners were supergroup Boyzlife, the Irish duo consisting of Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden from Boyzone and Westlife.Hawkes, 52, flew into London from his home in Los Angeles for the event, which first began in 1987 with 2,000 performers - but now has 8,000 taking part.Also involved today was Rachael O'Connor, a singer from Northern Ireland who appeared in series three of The Voice aged 16 and reached the quarter finals. 

O'Connor, who has worked in Stockholm for the past few years, has also been a backing vocalist with Duran Duran and is now embarking on a new solo project.Organisers added that performers from London's School of Samba were appearing, telling spectators to 'brace yourselves for a collision of rhythms and beats'.

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