One Maidstone has revealed that the celebrity turning on Maidstone’s town centre Christmas lights will be Hollyoaks actor Jake Quickenden. The singer and actor hit our screens as a contestant on ITV’s X Factor, before winning the hearts of the nation as runner-up in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, and skating to victory as the winner of Dancing on Ice in 2018.

The free switch on event will take place on Thursday November 21st, at 6.30pm, in Jubilee Square, supported and broadcast live by KMFM. Entertainment will include rousing performances from Powerhouse Gospel Choir and the Military Wives Choir, with carols from Molehill Primary Academy pupils, alongside a song from Jake himself.

One Maidstone’s BID Manager, Ilsa Butler, thinks the showbiz star will attract plenty of attention to the town:

“At One Maidstone, local businesses have told us that they feel it’s important for Maidstone to have a central celebration in the run up to Christmas, and to reinstate an official lights switch on. Taking over responsibility for the Christmas lights for the first year, we’re confident that we will put on a fun show for locals and visitors alike, involving traders in the area and bringing the spirit of Christmas back to Maidstone’s decorations.”

Jake stars in this year’s production of Beauty and the Beast at the Hazlitt Theatre, Earl Street, which runs from Saturday November 30th to Tuesday December 31st, playing the part of Danon. Other members of the panto cast will also be present at the switch on to bring additional festive cheer to the evening.

Michelle Woodland, Marketing and Development Manager for the Hazlitt Theatre said,

“The Hazlitt Theatre is thrilled to be working closely with One Maidstone in order to bring this year’s pantomime stars to the Christmas lights switch on. Jake is a seasoned performer, and with his new role in teen soap Hollyoaks about to get underway, we’re sure that the free performance in Jubilee Square will be a great draw for young people and families. We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to Maidstone to this year’s show.”

2019 sees One Maidstone provide Christmas lights for Maidstone for the first year, having previously been under the operation of Maidstone Borough Council. With no switch on event taking place in 2018, One Maidstone is delighted to be bringing the popular event back to the town centre, using funds collected from local businesses within the Business Improvement District.