Paul Akister joins Lancaster Christmas lights lineup

Paul Akister singing at the Lancaster Christmas Lights Switch On in 2014.

Paul Akister singing at the Lancaster Christmas Lights Switch On in 2014.

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Lancaster’s X Factor star has been added to the bill for the city’s Christmas lights switch-on.

Paul Akister will sing live in Market Square, Lancaster on Sunday, November 22 as part of the annual outdoor music concert.

Soul singer Paul, who lives in Bowerham, reached the live finals of the ITV talent show in 2014. He also appeared at the Lancaster Christmas lights event in 2013 and 2014.

Headlining the bill will be soul star Lemar, and Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, former members of Eurovision Song Contest-winning band Bucks Fizz.

Thousands are expected to attend the annual show.

Lemar first entered the public eye when he came third on BBC1 ‘search for a star’ Fame Academy in 2002.

He went on to have seven Top 10 hits including ‘Dance With U’ and ‘If There’s Any Justice’.

Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston are original members of Bucks Fizz, the British pop group who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 with ‘Making Your Mind Up’.

The song went to number one, as did follow ups ‘Land of Make Believe’ and ‘My Camera Never Lies’.

The trio will be joined by singer Bobby McVay.

The other original member Bobby G still tours separately with Bucks Fizz after a legal battle for ownership of the name.

Also on the bill will be Tom Mann and Barclay Beales, formerly of Stereo Kicks.

Stereo Kicks were an eight-piece boy band formed during last year’s series of ITV talent show The X Factor.

The group appeared at Morecambe Carnival in May and their debut single ‘Love Me So’ reached the Top 30. But the band split soon afterwards.

Members Tom and Barclay will be performing as a duo.

Also on the bill are Bailey McConnell, young Britain’s Got Talent star Henry Gallagher, Tiger Heart, Jack Morlen (formerly of Everyoung) and local acts Amy Jo Clough and Imogen Rae.

The show starts at 2.30pm. The lights will be switched on by Santa at 4.30pm. The show ends at 7pm.

It is funded by Lancaster’s Business Improvement District and organised by The Bay radio. Hosts will be Bay DJs Danny Matthews and Darren Milby.

There will be events and activities taking place all day to mark the start of Lancaster’s festive period. CancerCare’s annual Santa Dash will take place at 1pm in Market Square after a warm up by Inspire Gym. Registration for the Santa Dash will be at 11.45am in Market Square and the cost of entry includes a Santa suit or reindeer antlers for children. All proceeds will go to CancerCare. Santa’s Reindeer will be in Sun Square from noon-3pm and Santa will be on the streets to meet and greet visitors from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.