Amanda Holden switching on Burnham Market lights this Saturday

Richard Parr The big crowds expected at the Christmas lighting-up ceremony at Burnham Market this Saturday will find themselves literally seeing stars as well as the twinkling fairy lights.

Richard Parr

The big crowds expected at the Christmas lighting-up ceremony at Burnham Market this Saturday will find themselves literally seeing stars as well as the twinkling fairy lights.

For popular actress and Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, will be performing the switch-on honours together with a group of her actress friends who are all well-known faces from some of TVs top television shows such as Coronation Street, Wild at Heart, Cutting It and The Bill.

Miss Holden, who is due to wed her music producer boyfriend Chris Hughes next month, is familiar with Burnham Market through her friendship with Paul Whittome, owner of the Hoste Arms hotel and restaurant in the village.


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She has often spoken of her love of Burnham Market and says she is never happier than when away from the glamour and bright lights of the showbiz world.

“I love Burnham Market because I can truly relax there. I can go out without make-up and just be myself. Also there are the most fantastic shops - I spend more money up here than I do in London,” she said.

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Miss Holden, who was previously married to comic Les Dennis, said she is really looking forward to switching on the Christmas lights because the village is so close to her heart.

“I absolutely love Christmas so the combination will be fantastic! Add to that my closest girlfriends and I will have the most wonderful time,” she said.

But along with the festive fun there is a serious side in that money raised at Saturday's event will help The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House in Snettisham.

“The Snettisham hospice is such a very special place and, of course, like all hospices, needs constant funds to keep it going,” she said.

She says she not only wants to help raise money for the hospice, but also remind people it is there and that they should support if at possible.

The lighting-up ceremony is due to take place at around 4.30pm and Miss Holden and her friends, Sarah Parish, Angela Griffin, Sian Reeves, Lucy Jo Hudson, Rose Keegan, Jane Wall, Nicola Stephenson and Lisa Faulkner, will all be there to help

After they have switched on the lights Miss Holden and her friends will go off to a private venue in the village for her hen-night party.

A host of attractions have been arranged in the lead-up to the switch-on ceremony including food stalls, arts and crafts stalls, charity stalls and Father Christmas will be in his grotto and the Fakenham Town Band will be playing seasonal music and carols.

People are advised to arrive early because car parking will be limited and some roads around the village may be closed to through traffic.

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