08 November 2019

Southend BID reunites local radio legends Martin and Su for Big Switch On

Former Heart Essex DJ’s will be joined by a galaxy of stars from the world of entertainment this Saturday

For nearly two decades, Martin Day and Su Harrison brightened the mornings of thousands of people throughout Essex. The pair became iconic figures in the county, thanks to their daily breakfast show’s lively mix of gossip, news, stories and of course, top tunes. But a major programming overhaul of the Heart network in May saw their show end after eighteen hugely successful years.

Now, Southend Business Improvement District (BID) is delighted to announce that it is reuniting Martin and Su, as they host the town’s annual Big Switch On event, on
Saturday 16 November.

Starting with free, arts and crafts activities in the Royals and Victoria shopping centres at 11am, the fun ramps up from midday, when presenters from BBC Essex introduce a terrific line-up of local talent on the Visit Southend stage in Royals Square.

At 1pm, another local radio legend, Dom Atkins, presents a jam-packed programme of entertainment, before handing the mic’ to Martin and Su at 4:30pm. Joining them for the build-up to flicking the switch that sparks the High Streets famous illuminations into dazzling life, will be Eastenders’ Ricky Champ and The Voice sensation, Sarah Tucker.

Ricky is currently on our TV screens in Eastenders, playing Stuart Highway, Halfway’s younger brother and boozy mate of Mick Carter. Before then, he became a global star thanks to his role as Gatins in Game of Thrones. Ricky has also appeared in the sitcoms Crims and Him & Her, plus movies such as World’s End and Mortdecai.

Fans of ITV’s The Voice will certainly remember Sarah Tucker’s performance on the show. Her version of Shawn Mendes’ song In My Blood had Olly Murs, Jennifer Hudson, Tom Jones and all spinning their chairs and invite the Leigh-on-Sea mum-of-two to join their team. Sarah eventually chose to work with Jennifer, who had compared her vocal range with that of Mariah Carey.

Throughout the day there are even more musical sensations and up-and-coming superstars for you to enjoy. From talented local bands, such as D’ukes, Rolling Machine, Humbleslug and Lemonade Hand Grenade, to an exciting line-up of choirs - including The Show Choir, Southend VOX, Funky Voices, Sweet Charity Choir, The Rock Choir and the Little Theatre Company - plus two Essex stars of The Voice Kids - Charlie Dillon and Liv Lawrence.

Charlie’s vocal talents won him a place on Danny Jones’ team and he made it all the way through to the nail-biting semi-finals, while Liv made a huge impression on the popular TV when she brought her fabulous range and confidence to Tina Turner’s classic Proud Mary and Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.

More singers and performers are also being given a chance to showcase their talents by playing live sets at the Busking Bus, located outside Lloyds bank on the High Street.

Keep an eye out for a giant animatronic Snow Lion walking around The Royals Shopping Centre, while there’s plenty of tasty treats and bargain buys to be purchased in the High Street markets, held every Saturday from the Big Switch On and then every day in the week before Christmas.

“This year’s Big Switch On is going to be fantastic,”
says Southend BID Manager, Suzanne Gloyne.

“As well as a brilliant line-up of talented singers and entertainers, we have the jaw-dropping fireworks, the festive lights and, of course, our famous snow machine. Don’t forget all this is completely free! Which means you can spend more shopping in the High Street market or the terrific choice of shops, department stores and little boutiques in and around the town centre.”

Suzanne adds: “If you find that you’ve truly shopped ‘til you dropped, Southend’s fabulous bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants are ideally located nearby to offer you the perfect pick-me-up, or make it even more of a special occasion with dinner out with your family and friends. The Big Switch On is a wonderful way to come and experience the fun capital of Essex!” 

Southend BID’s Big Switch On is in partnership with Caddies, Energie Fitness, the Royals Shopping Centre, Southend Adult Community College and the Victoria Shopping Centre.

For more information, click on, like the Facebook page VisitSouthendonSea or follow @VisitSouthend on Twitter.


Please contact Tracy Jones at Brera – 01702 390348 / 07887 514984 / /