Welcoming to 2022: Firework and lights show illuminates the sky over London with nods to the NHS and England’s Euro2020 side as a choir sings ABBA in Shakespeare’s Globe – but not everyone is impressed

  • Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, asked people to enjoy the New Year spectacle at home by watching it on TV 
  • As the show was broadcast around the globe, it was impossible to see it from all angles. 
  • A large number of officers responded to a protest by anti-vaxx activists that took place at midnight near the London Eye. 
  • The show stayed on TV for longer than 30 minutes, causing social media users to be astonished. 


Many thousands of people gathered along the River Thames banks to welcome 2022, in spite of Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London’s appeal to stay at home to watch the fireworks. 

The fireworks last night were not displayed in a traditional New Year’s display. Instead, they were scattered around the city to avoid crowds. 

A group of anti-vaxxers protested at the London Eye. This led to a large police presence. 

Evening show at midnight acknowledged the NHS, the vaccine campaign and mentioned the England football team’s Wembley defeat as well Marcus Rashford’s fight to feed children. 

An alternative to one huge fireworks show, smaller displays were displayed along the River Thames with performances from Olly Alexander (The Pet Shop Boys) interspersed.

Fireworks lit up the sky in front of the London Eye at midnight with a smaller display than normal

At midnight, fireworks illuminated the skies in front the London Eye with a much smaller display than usual

The banks of the River Thames were considerably quieter than a normal New Year's Eve as Londoner's stayed away

Because Londoners stayed away, it was much more peaceful on the Thames banks than a regular New Year’s Eve. 

Not everyone was impressed with the London fireworks this year, with @fan234 writing on Twitter 'The British public reacting to the "firework" display' and including an 'is that it? gif

The London fireworks display this year did not impress everyone. @fan234 wrote on Twitter, “The British public reaction to the firework displays” and included a question mark: “Is that it?” Gif

And another Twitter user, MB, used an unimpressed gif of Mr Bean to show that not everyone was satisfied with the London fireworks this year

Another Twitter user, MB used an impersonal Mr Bean gif to demonstrate that not everybody was happy with London’s fireworks. 

The Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral were used as a backdrop for tonight's firework display

Tonight’s fireworks display was filmed against the backdrop of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had urged Londoners to watch the display on television

Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor, had requested that Londoners watch the video on TV. 

Crowds line the Southbank beside the Thames for New Year's Eve

For New Year’s Eve, crowds line Southbank near the Thames.

As well as fireworks and lasers, the New Year Eve show featured performances by Olly Alexander and the Pet Shop Boys

In addition to fireworks and lasers the New Year Eve Show featured Olly Alexander’s performance and Pet Shop Boys performing

Hundreds of people gathered in central London ahead of midnight, although this year's fireworks display was not visible from the ground

Although hundreds of people were present in central London before midnight, this year’s fireworks show was not visible from ground level,

Fireworks light up the sky over the Old Royal Naval College after the normal New Year's Firework display was cancelled due to the pandemic

After the New Year’s firework displays were cancelled because of the pandemic, fireworks lit up the Old Royal Naval College. 

Anti-vaxxers held  demonstration in central London with various people opposed to Covid-19 regulations and possible vaccine passports

Anti-vaxxers held  demonstration in central London with various people opposed to Covid-19 regulations and possible vaccine passports

Maskless protesters stood on the Southbank next to the London Eye for the late night demonstration against Covid rules

The Southbank, near the London Eye was the scene of a late night protest by Covid rule-breakers. 

Lasers were shot across the London skyline from St Paul's Cathedral

From St Paul’s Cathedral, lasers were used to illuminate the London skyline.