The wait is almost over, and it's time to find out who will be switching on Bolton's Christmas lights.

Ray Quinn, a singer, actor, and ice-skater, will be taking the top spot at this year's festivities.

When asked about the switch-on, he said: “With panto season about to start there’s no better way to get in the Christmas spirit and kickstart the festive period by switching on these fantastic lights in the wonderful town of Bolton. I am looking forward to seeing you all there.”

Ray, who is also taking part in Aladdin, the Albert Halls’ Christmas pantomime, is often known for his time on The X Factor in 2006.

He went on to win Dancing on Ice in 2009, and will be donning his skates once more for the seasonal special, Dancing on Ice at Christmas.

The Knowsley boy has also starred in TV soap Hollyoaks.

The lights will be switched on in Victoria Square on Thursday November 21, in an event sponsored by Market Place Shopping Centre.

Local musicians and groups will entertain crowds from 5pm, with other cast members from Aladdin popping in to make an appearance.

Ray will push the button at 7pm, switching on the lights and making the start of a spectacular fireworks display over the Town Hall.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “It is fantastic that Ray, the star of our Albert Halls pantomime, has agreed to switch on our Christmas lights this year.

“The lights switch-on is always a highlight, with a superb family atmosphere. It is one of our key events and we are sure Ray will bring the X Factor to the show.

“It will be a great event for all the family, so make sure you get into the town centre in plenty of time to enjoy the festivities.”

Tower FM presenter Jon Holling, who is also playing Abanazar in Aladdin, will host the Victoria Square show.

Market Place Shopping Centre manager, Nikki Wilson-Cook, said: “Bolton's Christmas Lights Switch-on is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Ray Quinn is the perfect person to turn our lights on.

“He is truly talented and I know he will put on a spectacular show for the people of Bolton on the night.

“After the main event we encourage everyone to visit Market Place to enjoy the incredible food and leisure offer available - there is something for every taste!"

A full programme of Christmas events will be released over the next few weeks and can be found at Bolton Winter Festival's website.