WYCOMBE was bathed in a festive glow as actor Gary Wilmot switched on the town’s Christmas lights on Thursday night.

The West End actor was joined by the stars of the Wycombe Swan’s Snow White panto and Wycombe District Council chiefs on the Frogmoor stage to officially start the countdown to Christmas.

It marked the second time the former Beaconsfield resident, who introduced a performance by the cast of his current Swan show the Radio Times, had kick started the festive fun in Wycombe.

Mr Wilmot said: “I’m a local boy so it’s an honour to be asked back.

“I switched on the lights in Brixton once, and I went to turn them on and someone had nicked the switch!

“But it’s nice to be back. Happy Christmas to everyone in High Wycombe.”

The yuletide festivities began at 6pm with a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-themed lights parade by the district’s schoolchildren.

They marched up to the new second performance stage in the High Street – which featured performances by the Jackie Palmer Stage School throughout the night – to inspire a Disney sing-along with the crowd.

Santa Claus was posing for photos and children were able to feed a trio of reindeer underneath the historic Guildhall.

The parade carried on into Church Street - which was full of Christmassy culinary delights on the new food market - for traditional carols outside All Saints Church.

The parade then moved on to Frogmoor for the main stage entertainment, which included the Songbirds and the Jersey Guys, before the town was lit up by hundreds of fairy lights at 7pm.

It marked the first time the event had been organised by the recently formed High Wycombe BID Company.