Marks & Spencer's Christmas ad campaign features a list of stars, the high street retailer revealed yesterday.

Denise Van Outen will be a miniature fairy.

The TV presenter will be joined by a number of other celebrities in the adverts, including Graham Norton, Cat Deeley, Joan Collins and Cold Feet star Hermione Norris.

England captain David Beckham, who recently put his name to a new range of children's wear for the retailer, will also feature.

The adverts will show Miss Van Outen sitting on a wrapped present, asking ''What makes Christmas special? Hands up!''.

Celebrities will then describe what makes Christmas special for them with each scene featuring clothing, gift and food products.

Last year, M&S's festive campaign followed a similar theme with Zoe Ball asking celebrities to name three things that sum up Christmas. The campaign gets under way on television this Friday and runs until Christmas Eve.

Marks & Spencer's half-year surge in profits was overlooked by investors yesterday as the high street company sounded a cautious note for the coming months.

Strong growth in clothing, food and home departments bolstered group sales in the 26 weeks to September 28 and profits came in at the top end of analyst forecasts.

Chairman Luc Vandevelde said M&S had moved from ''securing to sustaining'' recovery and was focused on increasing market share.

But Mr Vandevelde, who engineered the turnaround after years of falling sales and profits, conceded: ''We recognise that we are aiming to achieve this in a market we expect to become less buoyant.

''At the same time, we are coming up against challenging year-on-year comparisons.''

Chief executive Roger Holmes added: ''We do expect the rate of growth in the market will slow to more normal levels.

''But we're very much gearing ourselves up to make sure we can continue to gain market share, whatever the conditions.''

The consumer boom has bolstered retailers but some experts believe it could be faltering, with a survey out yesterday showing sales increased last month but remain below earlier highs.

The next few months, which take in the crucial festive season, are vital ones for the sector.

Also worrying investors were higher costs in M&S's financial services arm. The roll-out of its credit and loyalty card is expected to reduce profits by about £60m next year and the City was looking for a lower charge