EASTENDERS star Steve McFadden will switch on Salisbury’s Christmas lights this year.

Steve, who plays hardman Phil Mitchell, will push the button and light up the city next Thursday in the Market Place.

The soap star was born in Maida Vale, London in 1959.

After leaving school in 1975, Steve had short stints in jobs including labouring, carrot picking, plumbing and working at a builder's merchant.

He then decided he wanted to be an actor and was accepted into the RADA in 1984.

After graduating from RADA in 1987, he made his acting debut with a small role in the 1988 television film The Firm.

This was followed by appearances in the television series The Bill, Minder and Bergerac.

Steve then became famous for playing Phil Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.

As of 2014, he is now one of the longest-serving members of its cast.

On appearing in Salisbury to switch on the lights, Steve said: “I have been to Salisbury before and think it’s a beautiful city.

“I look forward to seeing you all as we count down to the Christmas lights switch-on.”

This year, the council has increased the lighting across the city with the support of Salisbury Business Improvement District.

For full details go to salisburycitycouncil.gov.uk.