James Bolam and Susan Jameson prove a huge hit at Southwold lights switch-on

Grandpa proved to a huge hit with the crowds as about 2,000 people turned out for the 'best ever' Christmas lights switch-on in Southwold.

Star of stage and screen James Bolam was joined by his partner and actress Susan Jameson as he switched on the lights in a packed Market Place, which was brimming with festive fun.

With the slogan of 'bringing the community together at Christmas' the Switch on Southwold event was hailed a 'fantastic' success by organisers.

Popular actor Mr Bolam, who shot to fame in starring with the Likely Lads, When the Boat Comes In and New Tricks, also now stars alongside his wife Susan Jameson in hit CBeebies show Grandpa in my Pocket.

The pair play Grandpa and Great Aunt Loretta in the popular BBC children's programme, parts of which are filmed in and around Southwold.

Cries of 'Grandpa' echoed around the town centre from the excited throngs of children, as families lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the famous couple.

The Southwold Corps of Drums made their way along the High Street with Father Christmas and the star couple arriving in the town's Leslie Tranmer RNLI lifeboat.

Most Read

Waving to the crowds on the Town Hall balcony, Susan Jameson, in her role as Great Aunt Loretta, addressed the masses, saying: 'I have lost Grandpa.....I don't know where he is. I think he must have gone for a lie down.'

Mr Bolam then arrived on the balcony and said: 'I can't tell you how thrilled I am and so excited to be here tonight in this wonderful town. I am so honoured to be coming here to switch on the lights.'

After some ho, ho, ho's from Father Christmas and a special countdown there was huge cheers of celebration and applause as the lights illuminated the town.

The switch-on delighted organisers and chairman of Switch on Southwold Mark Bryant said: 'This is our best ever event by a country mile.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter