Proud milestone for charity launch

The launch of the 23rd annual Poppython at Blackpool's Royal British Legion on King Street. Comedian Johnny Casson (left) and John Crisford (national vice-chairman, Royal British Legion) cut the ribbon. Also pictured (centre) is Ian Coleman (Blackpool RBL president), with Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden (right) and the Roly-Polys' Sandy (left).
The launch of the 23rd annual Poppython at Blackpool's Royal British Legion on King Street. Comedian Johnny Casson (left) and John Crisford (national vice-chairman, Royal British Legion) cut the ribbon. Also pictured (centre) is Ian Coleman (Blackpool RBL president), with Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden (right) and the Roly-Polys' Sandy (left).
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IT was a touching milestone for an annual Blackpool charity event.

The 23rd Blackpool Poppython featured the 1,000th act in the show’s history, a rousing musical tribute to the four home nations, followed by an ensemble rendition of Land of Hope and Glory.

The show has raised thousands of pounds for the Royal British Legion over the years and was held at the charity’s Blackpool branch on King Street.

Branch president Ian Coleman said: “It’s been absolutely stupendous and the entertainment was second to none, we’re very proud of what we put out.”

The special tribute to the home nations was performed by an ensemble cast of performers from across the show’s 23-year history, while the audience in the packed club sang their hearts out for the thousandth act’s finale.

Mr Coleman added: “The sound levels in this club when we sang Land of Hope and Glory have never been higher. We are indebted to all the entertainers.”

Acts for this year’s event included comedians Johnny Casson, Jimmy Nairn and Ricky Laine, Nicky Figgins Dance School, Centre Stage Academy, singing duo Classic Sound, Mike Buckley, The Nolan Brothers, and more.

Nicky Heaton, who runs the Nicky Figgins Dance School, said: “It was absolutely brilliant and the entertainment was great.

“Live performance is dying off, but it was one of those days which took you back to its heyday.

“The room was packed, and every person wanted to be there.”

The legion’s Poppy Appeal begins soon, and Mr Coleman is encouraging people to give generously to help those who have fought for their country.

He said: “It will shortly be upon us. We’ll have people out there every day and, like the entertainers at our show, they receive not a penny in wages or expenses. My gratitude goes out to every single one of them.”

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