CORONATION Street star Jack P Shepherd will be spreading some showbiz magic when he switches on Hartlepool’s Christmas lights during a bumper evening of Mary Poppins-themed fun.

The action-packed family event is on Wednesday, December 3 around the Christmas tree in Church Square from 4pm to 7pm and is sponsored by Hartlepool company Niramax Total Waste Solutions.

Jack, who plays David Platt in the TV soap, will be joined by Hartlepool’s Ceremonial Mayor Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher to press the button at 6pm, but there will be lots more besides.

Mary Poppins will be dropping in to sing the much-loved songs from the classic movie and there’ll be a chance to ride with her on a beautiful traditional carousel.

In Hartlepool Art Gallery people can try their hand at some Christmas crafts or grab a hot chocolate and listen to a cosy yuletide story, and crafts fair organisers King Crumpet will be back with a three-day long (December 3 to 6) Christmas Fair.

Youngsters from nearby St Joseph’s Primary School will be parading to the square at 4pm in a giant sweetie lantern procession and BBC Tees will be broadcasting from the event.

Cllr Akers-Belcher said: “Come and join us for a lovely evening out and a great opportunity to get into the spirit of Christmas.”

Entry to the switch-on is free but charges will apply to the food and drink and some of the activities. Please note that Upper Church Street will be closed to vehicles from 9am to 9pm.

For more information about the event, call 01429 523459 or visit