Acts get the thumbs up from fans

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Fans came out in their thousands to see the famous Blackpool Illuminations for the first time in 2013.

They were not disappointed as a mix of Fylde coast talent and superstars played to a packed Tower Festival Headland, culminating in chat show king Jonathan Ross lighting up the Prom and the Tower.

Pictures Martin Bostock'Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2013

Pictures Martin Bostock'Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2013

Blackpool acts Karima Francis and Last Breath got the party started before Eliza Doolittte treated the crowd to her pop melodies and Take That legend Gary Barlow - a last minute addition when The Script pulled out - rounded off the night in style with a selection of the group’s hits.

Ann Metcalfe, 49 and her daughter Rachael, 14, from Central Blackpool, were some of the first in to the packed temporary arena.

Mrs Metcalfe said: “I’ve been waiting for this to start for ages and thought it was great.

“I know you have to pay to get in but it was definitely worth it.”

Pictures Martin Bostock'Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2013

Pictures Martin Bostock'Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2013

Leah Calvert, 13, from South Shore, added: “It’s really exciting.

“I was disappointed when I heard about The Script but I love Gary Barlow and he’s a great replacement.”

Clare May, 40, and her friend Tracy Douglas, 43, had made the short trip down to Blackpool from Fleetwood for the Switch-On.

Mrs May said: “When the tickets were a ballot I was never able to come, so this is my first Swtich-On.

“We really like The Script, which is why we came, but we didn’t mind seeing Gary!”

Mrs Douglas added: “It’s great for the Fylde coast that things like this can happen.

“It’s on the Prom so you can’t miss it and people from all over the north west have travelled to Blackpool to be here.”

Anna-Clare Mumby, 34, from Bispham, added: “What Blackpool has managed to do is change something that was looking quite negative for them into something very positive.

“The fact Gary Barlow has done this for charity is amazing and shows the power of Twitter.”