IN PICTURES: Panto stars kick off Christmas countdown in Milton Keynes

Christmas came early for fans of Holby City last Friday when Lee Mead, who plays staff nurse ‘Lofty’ Chiltern, opened the Grotto at the centre:mk Santa’s Parade.

Lee, who is playing Aladdin in this year’s pantomime adventure at Milton Keynes Theatre, entertained the crowds who had gathered to mark the official start of Christmas at Santa’s Parade.

centre:mk Christmas parade

centre:mk Christmas parade

He was joined by panto cast member Debra Michaels who sang Rockin Around The Christmas Tree before they swapped the magic carpet for a ride through the shopping centre on Santa’s sleigh.

When Joe Pasquale hitched a lift aboard Aladdin’s flying carpet to join Father Christmas and the Mayor of Milton Keynes for the MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on countdown last Saturday, it heralded the start of the seasonal magic.

Comedy legend Joe, who is starring as Wishee Washee in Aladdin, warmed up the crowds on a chilly afternoon at the free event held at intu which included live entertainment, Christmas carols, lights, lasers and festive fireworks.

Aladdin is in Milton Keynes from Saturday, December 7 to Sunday, January 12. Tickets available from ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes

centre:mk Christmas parade

centre:mk Christmas parade

centre:mk Christmas parade

centre:mk Christmas parade

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu

MyMiltonKeynes lights switch-on at intu