A SPECTACULAR laser show will wow crowds for the first time at this year's Christmas lights switch-on in Clacton, with organisers promising the event will be the best ever.

TOWIE's Dan Osborne, who is appearing in Beauty and the Beast, will flick the switch on Saturday at 5pm to turn on the town's festive lights.

He is the latest in a string of Princes Theatre panto stars – including X Factor's Stevi Richie last year – to do the honours.

Hi-tech lasers have also been brought in from 300 miles away in Blackpool to wow the crowds.

Clacton Town Partnership chairman Graham Webb said they had decided to splash out on lasers instead of fireworks this year.

"They have come all the way from Blackpool and I don't think the area has seen anything quite like it before," he said.

"Fireworks only last a few minutes and for the same cost we can do this for a couple of hours.

"It's just something different. You should be able to see it half way to Colchester so hopefully it will draw a lot of people into the town."

The laser display will run from 4pm to 6pm.

There will be no late-night shopping this year but there is a host of entertainment throughout the day, including live music.

Mr Webb said: "We are hoping it will be the biggest Christmas lights switch-on we have ever done.

"There are more than ten acts performing on the day and we have more stalls than ever.

"There are already 43 Christmas trees up on lamp-posts which will be switched on at the same time and the council is putting up the Christmas tree up as we speak so it's all taking shape."