Soap hardman Steve flicks the switch that means Preston’s Christmas has started

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Thousands braved the rain and a freezing night to watch Eastenders star Steve McFadden turn on the Christmas lights

Steve McFadden, aka soap hardmanPhil Mitchell, did the honours after performances and appearances from Union J, The Drifters’ Ray Lewis, CBeebies’ Katy Ashworth, BBC 1’s Let It Shine star Kyle Passmore and opera singer Sean Ruane.

Actor Steve McFadden

Actor Steve McFadden

Prior to the Switch On, Santa’s reindeer made a flying visit to the Flag Market between 2pm and 4pm.

The lights switch-on ushers in the start of Christmas, with late night shopping from Wednesday, December 6 and free parking in some city centre car parks.

Christmas lights on Fishergate, Preston.
A host of famous faces and entertainers on stage at the Preston Christmas Light Switch-On event in Preston city centre.

Christmas lights on Fishergate, Preston. A host of famous faces and entertainers on stage at the Preston Christmas Light Switch-On event in Preston city centre.

From left, Sharon Farnandez, Marie Farnandez Byrom with Lola, three, and Angelina Fernandez

From left, Sharon Farnandez, Marie Farnandez Byrom with Lola, three, and Angelina Fernandez

Boy band Union J perform on stage.

Boy band Union J perform on stage.

PRESTON - LEP  - 25-11-17   Stars from Preston Guild Hall pantomine -  Aladdin,  A host of famous faces and entertainers on stage at the Preston Christmas Light Switch-On event in Preston city centre.

PRESTON - LEP - 25-11-17 Stars from Preston Guild Hall pantomine - Aladdin, A host of famous faces and entertainers on stage at the Preston Christmas Light Switch-On event in Preston city centre.