ONE of Team GB’s most popular Olympians today called her invitation to turn on Blackpool’s Illuminations “a massive honour”.
Beth Tweddle, who swung herself into the nation’s hearts with her dramatic London 2012 routine on the uneven bars, will flick the switch to light up the resort, alongside fellow medal winners boxer Luke Campbell and long jump specialist Greg Rutherford.
Raised in Cheshire, the bronze medal winning gymnast regularly visited the Lights spectacle with her parents when she was young.
But Beth will take centre stage next Friday night alongside a star studded cast which includes Paloma Faith, Scouting for Girls and the Noisettes.
She told The Gazette: “I remember when I was little and I went down there with my parents, but I never dreamed I would be part of the Switch-On.
“I’m a North West girl and the Illuminations is something we have been brought up with and known about since I was small.
“I haven’t been for a couple of years, so it’s nice to be part of it.”
The gymnast says the enthusiasm shown before, during and after the Olympic games has led to a party atmosphere wherever she goes and she expects the same in Blackpool during the Switch-On.
She added: “There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Team GB at the moment and a lot of people I’ve spoken to who watched the Olympics loved it.
“It was easy to access and no matter where people were watching it, they all enjoyed it.
“There’s so many huge names at the Switch-On and it’s really exciting.
“It’s a massive honour to be a part of it and with it following on from the Olympics, I’m sure everyone will be excited to see us there.”
Before tackling the Olympics and World Championships, Beth visited the town to compete and train at Blackpool Leisure Centre in 2007.
But while she has never stayed in the resort for longer than two days, she says the magic of the Illuminations has stayed with her.
She added: “I remember driving through the Lights during my first visit and wondering what all the fuss was about.
“My parents explained to me what it was and I still think they are something great to come and see every year.”