The countdown to Christmas in Bolton begins next month with the annual lights switch-on – and the celebrity with the honour of flicking the switch is one of Britain’s best-loved TV soap stars.
Coronation Street star Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone Dobbs in the long-running TV programme, will take centre stage at this year’s celebration, which is sponsored by Market Place Shopping Centre.
Popular soap star Alan, who has played the Corrie favourite for 20 years, will turn on the lights in Victoria Square, on Thursday, November 22.
Alan, 36, said: “It’s a fantastic honour to be getting into the Christmas spirit by turning on Bolton’s lights and I’m really looking forward to it. It will be a great event and I am really chuffed to be involved.”
The show begins at 5pm with local musicians and groups entertaining the crowds. The cast from The Albert Halls’ Christmas pantomime Snow White, which stars Brookside and Benidorm Michael Starke and former X Factor contestants David Heath and Sam Callahan, will also perform at the event.
Alan will push the button at 7 pm, followed by a spectacular fireworks finale over the town hall.
The leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “Our annual Christmas lights switch-on is one of the highlights in Bolton’s calendar and you can always tell the festive season isn’t far away when the town centre lights up.“We are delighted that Alan has agreed to do the honours this year. He is known to millions across the country for his brilliant work as Tyrone in Corrie and we know it will be a wonderful evening.
“It will be a great event for all the family, so make sure you get into the town centre in plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.
“Starting with the lights switch-on, there will be something for all the family in the run-up to Christmas, in the town centre.”
Market Place Shopping Centre manager, Nikki Wilson-Cook, added: “Market Place is proud to be sponsoring this year’s Bolton Christmas lights switch-on.
“The town centre looks amazing in the run-up to Christmas and of course the Market Place will have everything you might need this festive season – great shopping, food and drink.”
For updates on what’s on in Bolton over Christmas visit www.boltonwinterfestival.com, like Bolton Winter Festival on Facebook or follow @boltonwinterfes on Twitter.
Get involved with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on using #BoltonXmasLights.