VIDEO: Sooty lends a hand to town’s Illuminations

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Izzy, whizzy, let’s get busy! A children’s classic is coming to Blackpool’s world renowned lights show this year - 65 years after he was discovered in Blackpool.

A giant tableaux of Sooty will feature in the Illuminations for the first time in 2013 to mark the milestone anniversary of the lovable puppet who was bought from a North Pier shop in 1948.

Mischievous bear Sooty will feature as part of Blackpool's Illuminations display this year. Below: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with Sooty and Sweep and (bottom) Mikayla Alcock (13) with the smartphone app character Glimmer.

Mischievous bear Sooty will feature as part of Blackpool's Illuminations display this year. Below: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with Sooty and Sweep and (bottom) Mikayla Alcock (13) with the smartphone app character Glimmer.

Puppet master Richard Cadell, who owns the rights to Sooty, said: “The unique attraction for Sooty is that every generation has grown up watching it. Postman Pat is geared towards children but Sooty is unique because the grandparents and parents want to look at the Sooty display and the association behind it.”

Sooty was created when he was bought in Blackpool by his founder, Harry Corbett, and first appeared on screens in 1952.

Mr Cadell, who appears alongside the children’s favourite in TV show Sooty and Co, added: “I’m extremely proud. I’ve presented the show for 12 years and own the rights to it, but the people who are really proud are the Corbett family.

“They said to me if Harry was alive to see this he would be delighted at how far this has come.”

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with Sooty and Sweep.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with Sooty and Sweep.

The Illuminations light up the Promenade from August 30 and this year includes the biggest gallery of original illuminated urban art in the world, sketches of rockers The Clash, and a unique app bringing characters and content to life through smartphone technology.

Designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has worked with Blackpool Council to introduce the new additions to this year’s Illuminations.

He said: “The idea of Sooty coming back to Blackpool really encourage the idea of how important Blackpool is. Many people come back here every year because they want an experience they are not going to get anywhere else in the world.”

The smartphone app works by having more than 90 markers running the length of the Illuminations which trigger the content when they are scanned by a device.

Mikayla Alcock (13) with the smartphone app character "Glimmer" she did the voice for.

Mikayla Alcock (13) with the smartphone app character "Glimmer" she did the voice for.

The various characters act as a guide to the attraction and were voiced by Blackpool schoolchildren.

Daniel Straine-Francis, 13, from South Shore, voiced the animated character, Ray.

He said: “It feels really good to be part of the Illuminations.”

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