Brian Blessed is to switch on Croydon’s Christmas lights.

This year’s town centre switch on, scheduled for November 15, is set to take place in the Belmouth area of North End, just outside the Whitgift Centre near JJB Sports.

Celebrated actor Brian Blessed, who is starring as Captain Hook in Panto at Fairfield Halls this winter, is this year’s honorary guest and he will be switching on the lights at 5pm after a day’s entertainment from various acts on a stage, which will be brought in to North End by Croydon BID (Business Improvement District) especially for proceedings.

The live performances will include local artists, including a steel pan band and a neighbourhood choir. There will also be Bollywood dancers and other contemporary dance groups in action, and it all promises to get the festive season underway with a suitable swing.

The rest of the borough is also looking forward to the big Christmas launch. South Norwood lights are to be switched on the 19th November as are the lights in Crystal Palace, with New Addington’s switch scheduled for the 22nd. These will be followed by Purley on the 29th November and then Norbury and Coulsdon on the 5th December.

• Watch a video of Brian Blessed.