EastEnders star to switch on Christmas lights in Northamptonshire

Eastenders star Jake Wood, aka Max Branning.

Eastenders star Jake Wood, aka Max Branning.

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EastEnders star Jake Wood, who plays love rat Max Branning, will switch on Kettering’s Christmas lights later this month.

The soap actor, whose character has been wrongfully imprisoned on the show for the murder of Lucy Beale, will light up the town centre at 6.30pm on Thursday, November 26.

Joining Mr Wood, who also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, in the big switch-on will be the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lighthouse Theatre.

Connect FM’s Liz and Mark will be hosting and introducing performances on the evening from 5pm, including The Hotsie Totsies, Nigel Adair, Magic from Jamie Docherty and Kettering Buccleuch Academy winner Ebony Sturgess.

The switch-on will mark the start of the festive shopping period, with late-night shopping available on Thursdays from November 26.

December 5 will see the return of Small Business Saturday and the Teenage Market.

Further entertainment will be on offer in the form of free big screen movies in Market Place, including Elf (5pm, December 3), The Snowman and the Snowdog (5pm, December 10), and Frozen (4pm, December 19).

Kettering Council will be offering free parking in its town centre car parks all day on December 5, 12 and 19, and after 3pm on December 3, 10, 17.

Santa will be taking up residence at his log cabin grotto in The Yards from November 28 to December 24.

The grotto will be open between midday and 6pm on Tuesday to Saturday (extended to 7pm on Thursday), and midday to 4pm on Sundays.

Entrance is £3 per child, with each child receiving a present, and photos will be available for an additional cost.

Guy Holloway, head of corporate and cultural services at Kettering Council, said: “There is an exciting line-up of activities in Kettering town centre in the run-up to Christmas this year.

“The programme of festivities we have put on will provide a range of attractions for the whole family.

“Christmas this year is definitely in Kettering!”

Cllr Lesley Thurland, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for community and culture, said: “I’m really looking forward to the events and getting the local community in the mood for Christmas.

“Make sure you pop into Kettering for late night shopping and take advantage of the free parking at weekends and after 3pm on Thursdays, as well as the free entertainment provided.”