Getting ready to light up the night

Heather Small, Preston Christmas

Heather Small, Preston Christmas

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Wrap up warm and turn up early!

That was the message today from organisers of tonight’s Preston Christmas Lights switch-on.

The fun starts officially at 5.15pm on the Flag Market.

But the town has much more to offer all day in its shops, bars and restaurants.

Preston Business Improvement District manager Mark Whittle said: “The forecast is looking good so far – it will be chilly but no rain at this stage.

“Our message is wrap up, get there early, have a bit of a shop and a bite to eat and enjoy the night”.

The BID has put together a strong line-up to appeal to all the family.

The concert kicks-off with Mr Bloom , the star of CBeebies, who will delight younger members of the audience.

The night will also feature Heather Small, the voice of M People, whose hits include Moving On Up, Search For A Hero and Proud

There’s also The Real Thing, the band responsible for million-sellers You To Me Are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You and Can You Feel The Force

Dave Finnegan’s The Commitments from the hit Hollywood film will also thrill the crowds, with songs including Mustang Sally, Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay, and the Midnight Hour .

Preston’s own Paralympic Gold Medallist Stephanie Slater will also be on stage.

The cast of Preston Guild Hall’s pantomime will also be there and of course.....Santa!

To complete the night, reality TV star Joey Essex will greet the crowds as he films a new Christmas programme.

The switch-on will happen at around 7.40pm.

ITV 2 will be filming in the city with Joey – so members of the audience could well end up on TV. The finished show will be broadcast sometime in December.