A SQUARE in Oxford city centre was transformed into a living room as Age UK shone a light on loneliness.

As shoppers bustled past Bonn Square today, busy buying gifts, they were confronted with a sad reality: some people have no loved ones left to buy anything for.

The Oxfordshire branch of the charity put an armchair, rug, television and table in the square from 10am-4pm. 

It replicated a scene from many elderly people's homes, in which television entertainment might be their only company this Christmas.

Anna McKay, marketing manager of Age UK Oxfordshire, said: "It was about making invisible people visible, and awareness of the people hidden behind closed doors.

"It was like a 'through the keyhole' view. The reaction was amazing. People were stopping to have a chat - it made people think."

She encouraged people to think about neighbours or strangers who might be alone, and what they can do to ease their isolation.

Actors from not-for-profit theatre company Living The Drama took it in turns to sit in the chair with a blanket and hot water bottle, while others read poetry about old age to passersby.