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The celebrity with the honour of switching on Bolton’s Christmas Lights has been revealed

Singer, actor and ice-skater extraordinaire Ray Quinn will top the bill at this year’s celebration, which is sponsored by Market Place Shopping Centre.

Ray, who is also starring in Aladdin, the Albert Halls’ Christmas pantomime, became a household name after singing his way to the nation’s hearts on The X Factor in 2006.

He was the popular celebrity contestant who won Dancing on Ice in 2009 and will be pulling on his skates again for the ITV festive special, Dancing on Ice at Christmas.

Ray, who has also starred in the TV soap Hollyoaks, will turn on the lights in Victoria Square, on Thursday, November 21.

He said: “With panto season about to start there’s no better way to get in the Christmas spirit and kickstart the festive period by switching on these fantastic lights in the wonderful town of Bolton. I am looking forward to seeing you all there.”

The show begins at 5pm with local musicians and groups entertaining the crowds. Other cast members from The Albert Halls’ Aladdin panto will also be putting in an appearance.

Ray will push the button at 7pm and this will be followed by a spectacular fireworks finale over Bolton Town Hall.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “It is fantastic that Ray, the star of our Albert Halls pantomime, has agreed to switch on our Christmas lights this year.

“The lights switch-on is always a highlight, with a superb family atmosphere. It is one of our key events and we are sure Ray will bring the X Factor to the show.

“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.

“The lights switch-on is just the beginning of a whole host of events in the town centre for all the family in the run-up to Christmas.”

Market Place Shopping Centre manager, Nikki Wilson-Cook, said: “Bolton’s Christmas Lights Switch-on is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Ray Quinn is the perfect person to turn our lights on.

“He is truly talented and I know he will put on a spectacular show for the people of Bolton on the night.

“After the main event we encourage everyone to visit Market Place to enjoy the incredible food and leisure offer available – there is something for every taste!”

Tower FM presenter Jon Holling – who is also playing Abanazar in Aladdin – will host the Victoria Square show. Get involved with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on using #BoltonXmasLights.

A full programme of Christmas fun will be coming to Bolton – details will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Keep up to date online:, like Bolton Winter Festival on Facebook or follow @boltonwinterfes on Twitter.

Book tickets for Aladdin at the Albert Halls Bolton online or call 0843 208 0500.