A FORMER star of the Bill and panellist on Loose Women will be turning on the Christmas Lights in Cirencester.

Lisa Maxwell who played Detective Inspector Samantha Nixon in the ITV1 drama The Bill between 2002 and 2009 will be flicking the switch in Cirencester Market Place on November 28 as part of the Cirencester Sparkles Advent Festival.

The event, which is being organised by Cirencester Town Council, will include live entertainment, fairground rides, interactive games, food and sweet sensations and special pop-up performances all around the town.

To help deliver Christmas cheer there will performances from acts including, the Curious Little Band, Cirencester Male Voice Choir, members from local theatre art school’s Stagecoach, MJUK and Stage Smart.

Cirencester Market and Events Officer Suzie Lew, said: “Cirencester Town Council is proud to host some great events full of festive cheer, showcasing our beautiful town; local talent, great shopping and delicious dining experiences.”

The evening’s entertainment will be compared by BBC’s Vernon Harwood and elves from the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon will be present with a special guest.

The Market Place will be closed to traffic from 9am to 9pm and a special Christmas Farmers’ Market will be held that morning from 8.30am to midday. During the festival free parking will be available in all Cotswold District Council car parks from 4pm.

Festive cheer will continue in the town on Saturday, December 5 when the Cirencester Christmas Market takes place from 9am to 4pm that will include high quality traders and craftsman.

As part of the event, there will be carols, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.

Mrs Lew added: “This market provides the perfect opportunity for Christmas shopping and a great day in town.There’s no need to worry about dinner that day as there will plenty of delicious food and dining options available, plus some great Christmas shopping to be had.”

The Cirencester Farmers’ Market for December will take place on Saturday December 12 and 19 where there will be locally sourced and produced products available.

Entertainers and volunteers are being invited to take part in the Cirencester Sparkles Advent Festival.

Mrs Lew said: “If you can sing, play an instrument, juggle, perform magic or just be happy to welcome visitors whilst dressed in costume then please get in touch.”

If you wish to take part of volunteer at the event call Mrs Lew on 01285 655646.