Your chance to light us up

Jonathan Ross pulls the switch to get the Illuminations started.

Jonathan Ross pulls the switch to get the Illuminations started.

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Fylde folk are to get their chance to shine by following in the footsteps of Switch-On star Jonathan Ross.

The Friends of Blackpool Illuminations, the Illuminations department and liveBlackpool.info are offering lucky winners of a competition the chance to pull the switch to light up the town just like the TV personality did in August.

Now two dates have been set aside where members of the public can turn on the world famous Illuminations at the Teddy Bears Picnic at the start of the Tableaux at Bispham.

Shirley Hunt, from Friends of the Illuminations, said: “The Friends are hard at work, collecting and raising money to fund the Lights of the future, so this competition is a great way to say thank you to everyone who supports us by adding their coins to collecting boxes.

“All the money that is raised through these collections goes entirely to paying for new displays – it’s not used towards running costs or the Switch On event.”

The group has hit problems since the controversy over the Switch-On where the council made a loss of £372,000.

They have been told by some businesses they usually collect from that they did not want to contribute because of the furore, even though the Friends’ collection is for the Lights themselves and not the Switch-On event.

Richard Ryan, head of Blackpool Illuminations, said: “You’ll also get a chance to use the world famous Switch On switch, that this year was flicked by Jonathan Ross and has seen many famous people in the past, including racehorse Red Rum in 1977 and Kermit the Frog in 1979!”

Anyone can enter this competition if they can be at the appointed spot 15 minutes before Blackpool Illuminations are due to shine.

The October Switch-On competition closes on Sunday, October 20, and the November one closes the week after on November 3. Simply register your details online at www.liveBlackpool.info to enter.

The Live Blackpool website is one of seven about the Fylde coast which are designed to showcase the area.

Jane Littlewood, publisher of the site, said: “Like everyone, I love Blackpool Illuminations, and as Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen always says, their special magic is that they make you feel like a kid again.

“For us it’s an honour to be able to run this competition and help with the Friends fund-raising.”

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