John Lewis has revealed its 2021 Christmas advert, titled unexpected guest.

The retailer has become famous for its Christmas ads pulling on the heartstrings of the nation over the years.

This year's is no different focusing on the friendship between a young boy and an alien.

A young alien experiencing her first Christmas – complete with mince pies and novelty jumper – is the star of this year’s John Lewis festive campaign.

The highly anticipated ad is a return to form for the retailer as it attempts to tap in to customer enthusiasm for a traditional Christmas season after last year’s muted celebrations amid pre-vaccination Covid.

Winsford Guardian: John Lewis advert "unexpected Guest". (John Lewis/ PA)John Lewis advert "unexpected Guest". (John Lewis/ PA)

Titled “Unexpected Guest”, the two-minute ad stars space traveller Skye crash-landing at the height of festivities in the woods near the home of 14-year-old Nathan, who introduces her to the traditions of eating mince pies, decorating the tree and, to her slight confusion, wearing novelty jumpers.

The soundtrack is provided by 20-year-old London singer and songwriter Lola Young, who performs a cover of Together In Electric Dreams, originally released by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder in 1984.

The release of the ad is around a fortnight earlier than usual and comes as the retailer revealed Christmas-related searches on its website are up 50% on this time last year.

Watch the new John Lewis advert here

When will it air on TV?

The ad first airs at 8.15pm on Thursday on ITV during The Pride of Britain Awards after launching at 6.30am for members of the ‘My John Lewis’ loyalty scheme via email access and from 8am on the retailer’s website and social media channels.

Winsford Guardian: A clip from the new John Lewis advert/ (PA)A clip from the new John Lewis advert/ (PA)

John Lewis customer director Claire Pointon said: “There is nothing more magical than discovering the joy of Christmas for the first time and enjoying your favourite festive moments with loved ones.

“After the last 18 months, we wanted our advert to really celebrate this as we look forward to a brighter future.

“We know our customers are excited for this festive season more than ever, as they reconnect with family and friends. Through the story of Skye and Nathan we celebrate friendship and are reminded of the joy of experiencing Christmas for the first time.”