‘Not what we wanted here’

Ex council leader Coun Peter Callow has criticised the choice of Keith Lemon to switch on the Lights
Ex council leader Coun Peter Callow has criticised the choice of Keith Lemon to switch on the Lights
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BLACKPOOL’S former council leader has hit out at this year’s Illuminations Switch-On star who he claims does not fit in with Blackpool’s family friendly image.

Coun Peter Callow says comic Keith Lemon is the wrong choice because of his reputation for shocking audiences with his risque humour.

Keith Lemon

Keith Lemon

Coun Callow said: “If he is what I am told he is, it hardly fits in with the family resort we had turned the town back into.

“Pixie Lott and Ollie Murs are the type of acts young people want to see, but this type of comedian is not what we would have wanted when we had tried so hard to restore Blackpool’s family image.

“When the Conservatives came to power four years ago, we decided we would adopt a zero tolerance policy to clean up the town.

“It will be interesting to see if Labour continues with that tough stance.”

Tory group deputy leader Coun Tony Williams also attacked the choice of Keith Lemon – the alter ego of cult comedian Leigh Francis.

He said: “Most people I’ve talked to have never heard of him.

“I know for a fact we were working with the sponsors last year and looking at David Beckham or Kylie Monogue. We needed a star to follow Robbie Williams.

“If this is the best the council can do what can we expect next year? Paul Daniels or maybe Orville, he could come on the bus from Poulton.”

But Labour’s deputy leader of the council Fred Jackson defended the choice of Keith Lemon.

He said: “I’ve seen him on a prime-time TV show screened early on Saturday evening and I was not aware of him doing anything that was not family orientated on that.

“If you look at the line-up for the Illuminations Switch-On, you have a good range appealing to all different age groups.

“I don’t think the few moments the Switch-On star has, will allow him to slip into any kind of humour that is not acceptable to a family audience.

“I would have thought the producers of the show would take that on board and ensure something like that doesn’t happen.

“This idea that only the Tories care about Blackpool being a family resort is nonsense.

“We started most of the things off in the first place – improving the Promenade and improving the beach for instance. Everything is about being a family resort.”