ACTOR Gary Wilmot will press the plunger at the High Wycombe Christmas lights switch on next week.

The London West End legend will be performing alongside the rest of the cast of the Wycombe Swan musical Radio Times on the main stage in Frogmoor at Thursday night’s spectacular.

Mr Wilmot told the Free Press he was "honoured" to have been asked.

The annual event has a new format after organisers, the recently formed High Wycombe BID Co, listened to feedback from the public.

A second stage packed full of local performers will be entertaining the High Street, while a new food market will be held in Church Street.

Father Christmas and his elves will be holding a toy-making workshop underneath the Guildhall from 4pm, complete with reindeer, and there will also be the usual thrills and spills to be had on the funfair.

The annual lights parade by the district’s children will get underway from 6pm in Corporation Street, with the High Street crowd brought closer to the action to inspire a Disney-style sing-along.

The children will march into Frogmoor for the main stage entertainment, culminating in the big lights switch-on at the earlier time of 7pm.

HWBIDCo’s Gemma Field said: "It was important to us this year to be able to remove most of the crowd barriers from the town.

"By focussing the parade on our partner schools we have been able to minimise any risk to pedestrians and introduce a big sing-along that should get the crowd involved and enjoying the town’s festive spirit."

Parking is free in all car-parks owned by Wycombe District Council.