Panto stars join George to switch on the lights

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GARETH Gates was the star of the show in Bletchley as he lit up the town centre on Saturday.

The 2002 Pop Idol runner-up switched on the Christmas lights in front of hundreds of excited fans dressed in his Aladdin costume and joined by fellow performer Nicola Brazil, who plays Jasmine at the Milton Keynes Theatre panto.

Father Christmas also made a special guest appearance, meeting children and leading the lantern parade as it snaked through Bletchley and Fenny Stratford.

There were also plenty of Christmas gifts and treats on sale at the festive market before the big moment.

Eight-year-old George Ashby was chosen from the crowd to join Gareth, Nicola and Father Christmas to push the plunger and light up the town for the festive period.