VIDEO: Resort basks in Switch-On glow

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Blackpool’s renowned lights display is tonight shining bright along the Promenade for the first time in 2013.

Chat show star Jonathan Ross flicked the switch in front of a crowd of thousands on the Tower Headland after a turbulent 48 hours for the organisers.

Gary Barlow performs at a concert to celebrate the lighting of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations on the Blackpool Promenade. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 30, 2013. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Gary Barlow performs at a concert to celebrate the lighting of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations on the Blackpool Promenade. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 30, 2013. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The Script were forced to pull out of the spectacular launch on Wednesday due to a private family matter, but nobody in Blackpool was going to let the party start without another big name on board.

Step forward Gary Barlow, the saviour, who announced on Twitter he was willing to join the line-up if a donation was made to Children in Need.

The former Take That front man was in New York when he first realised the resort’s plight, but less than 48 hours later he was on stage playing a selection of Take That hits to a delighted crowd.

Earlier in the evening, Blackpool acts Karima Francis and Last Breath got the party started before Eliza Doolittte treated the crowd to her pop melodies.

Gary Barlow performs at a concert to celebrate the lighting of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations on the Blackpool Promenade. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 30, 2013. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Gary Barlow performs at a concert to celebrate the lighting of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations on the Blackpool Promenade. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 30, 2013. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Barlow’s fondness for the resort was shown throughout his encore when he donned an ‘I Love BPL’ hoodie for Never Forget, before Ross entered the stage to light up the resort.

See The Gazette tomorrow for a three page Switch-On special