We’re one week away from Southend’s huge Christmas lights switch-on, when the town centre will come alive with festive fun culminating in a spectacular fireworks display lighting up the seafront and town centre, organised by Southend Business Improvement District.

A huge 40ft Christmas tree takes pride of place for the event, which attracts many thousands of people.

When? Next Saturday – Saturday, November 16.

From 1pm to 6pm – main stage – Victoria Circus: Join local artists on the Main Stage hosted by Dom Atkins from 1pm - 4.30pm. From 4.30pm - there will be an amazing line-up of acts including the switch-on at 6pm by EastEnders’ Ricky Champ and special guests.

Midday to 8pm – Visit Southend stage at Royal Square: BBC Essex will be hosting a fun packed day for the whole family, with performances from incredible choirs, singers and musicians 11am to 4pm: Both the Royals and Victoria Shopping Centre will be hosting a day full of fun arts and crafts activities to get you in the Christmas spirit. Or head to the Royals to meet the magical life sized snow lion and red Queen!

7.30pm: Grand fireworks finale: BBC Essex will be counting down to the grand seafront fireworks finale of this year’s Big switch-on.

At the event, former Heart Essex DJs Martin and Su are set to be reunited for the first time after their radio show was axed six months ago.

The pair will be joined by a number of celebrities for Southend’s Christmas lights Big Switch On.

Martin Day and Su Harrison hosted their breakfast show on Heart Essex for almost 20 years before their tenure ended in May.

Joining Martin and Su will be EastEnders’ Ricky Champ, who plays Stuart Highway, who first shot to fame in Game of Thrones, along with The Voice sensation from Leigh, Sarah Tucker.

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID manager, said: “Don’t forget all this is completely free. The Big Switch On is a wonderful way to come and experience the fun capital of Essex.”

Southend BID’s Big Switch On is in partnership with Caddies, Energie Fitness, the Royals Shopping Centre, Southend Adult Community College and the Victoria Shopping Centre.

For more information, visit www.visitsouthend.co.uk/christmas