Llewelyn-Bowen unveils 'Venus Reborn'

IT'S "slinky, sexy, fun, colourful" – and well worth getting out of your car to see.

No, not Laurence Llewelyn Bowen's infamous dress sense – but his brand new tableau, Venus Reborn.

The Golden Mile held its collective breath last night as some of the newest additions to Blackpool's Illuminations were given a test run ahead of tonight's big switch on by the boys from TV's Top Gear.

And the seafront was bathed in a kaleidoscope of colour as the internationally famous light show lit six miles of the Fylde coast.

Among the much loved favourites like the Tiffany lamps and mermaids, new attractions sparkled from the streetlights preparing to welcome this year's sightseers into town.

Unveiling his newest addition to the gathering crowds in Flagstaff Gardens outside the Pleasure Beach, Laurence spoke of his delight at returning to Blackpool to design a new feature for a second year. He said: "I've felt like an anxious parent this evening as I've watched the final touches being made.

"I have always had a fascination about Blackpool as a place where design can be used not for snobbishness but for fun, vivaciousness and colour.

"As a designer there is something so seductive about the town.

"It's like being a child locked in a sweetshop!

"I wanted to create something that would make people want to get out of their cars, walk about and give something back to boost the local economy.

"Andy Mckeown has also created a great new piece for this year with localHEADS which shows what you can do with art and colour.

I'm really looking forward to the switch-on and hope the town will have a wonderful and successful end to the season."

Venus Reborn will spring into life every 15 minutes and bring Las Vegas style water fountains, moving music, glittering lights, a whole spectrum of colours and a very typically cheeky Blackpool style twist as a finale.

Along the Prom, some visitors took advantage of the final test to enjoy a sneak preview of the lights and admire the new attractions.

Russell Smith, 42, from St Annes travelled with his family to get a first look at Venus Reborn, he said: "I'm impressed with what I've seen, I think it will be a really good addition to the lights at this side of the town.

"It is definitely worth getting out of your car to see, Laurence has done some great work for Blackpool."