BRADFORD will be the first city in the UK to switch on its Christmas lights tomorrow night - beating Manchester by an hour!

Last year’s X Factor winner Matt Terry will be joined by fellow X Factor contestant Christian Burrows and former Fame Academy performer Lemar for the celebrations which start at 4pm at the Broadway Shopping Centre.

Bradford Council has decided to link in with shopping centre bosses by using the occasion to also flick the switch for the civic Christmas lights on what will be the earliest date in living memory.

Last year's city centre lights switch on did not take place until November 19.

Broadway bosses organised the date to coincide with the second anniversary of the shopping centre's opening.

Bobsie Robinson, the Council's culture, policy and event manager at Bradford Council, said: “We are part of the Broadway Shopping Centre’s spectacular event where the city’s Christmas lights will be switched on by current reigning X Factor champ Matt Terry, the Lord Mayor will also be attending.

“With Christmas events throughout the district during November and December there are lots of opportunities for people to enjoy Christmas with family and friends at this special time of year, including events like the annual Civic Carol Service at Bradford’s beautiful Cathedral.”

As part of the lights switch on, there will be live entertainment and prizes to be won including tickets to this year’s Alhambra pantomime.

This year's Christmas lights will also support the White Ribbon Campaign, a global campaign to end violence against women.

Councillor Simon Cooke, leader of the Council's Conservative group, welcomed the decision to partner the Broadway's celebrations.

He said: “It is a bit early, but I guess that’s down to the Broadway’s scheduling. If the Council can get someone else to pay for it that’s great for the Council, even if it is a bit early.

“The line-up is not bad either this year, and I’m sure that will attract plenty of people down to watch it.

“It’s good news that the Broadway are doing it themselves, the Council has big budget pressures so if someone else will pay for it and bring in big names, that’s good for Bradford.”

No tickets are required for the free event, which runs from 4pm to 7pm with the lights switch on taking place at 6.30pm.

Elsewhere in Yorkshire, Sheffield’s lights switch on is held on November 8, in Leeds on November 9, in York on November 16, in Wakefield on November 17, and in Hull on November 23.

Around the country, London’s famous Oxford Street lights will be turned on on November 7.