Burton casts movie magic over resort

Hollywood director Tim Burton at the Pleasure Beach.

Hollywood director Tim Burton at the Pleasure Beach.

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Hollywood fever has gripped Blackpool after the announcement that director Tim Burton is this year’s Switch-On star.

The movie mogul was revealed yesterday as the bill-topper for the resort’s biggest party night, on Friday, September 4, with pop stars The Vamps headlining the concert.

We know Tim loves it here and he is such an iconic name in the world of films, so for Blackpool as a town to have him switch on the Lights is amazing.

Shirley Hunt

The announcement attracted attention from across the UK, with ‘Tim Burton’ in the top five UK-wide trending topics on social media website Twitter – with multiple links to the news of his resort return.

And Visit Blackpool was bombarded with national media enquiries yesterday.

Tim will be back in town for the night, following his two week stint in May, when he shot stunt scenes for his latest film Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, with A-list actor Samuel L Jackson joining him for the work.

The reveal has been welcomed by hoteliers, attraction chiefs and Illuminations supporters.

Shirley Hunt, from Friends Of The Illuminations, said: “It’s fantastic for Blackpool to get such a big name, a massive Hollywood film director.

“We know Tim loves it here and he is such an iconic name in the world of films, so for Blackpool as a town to have him switch on the Lights is amazing.”

And Shirley added she’d had high hopes for a super star name, having ‘learned over the years’ that the later the announcement comes, all too often, the bigger the celebrity - so she was not disappointed.

Helen Mansell, vice president of Stay Blackpool hoteliers’ group and owner of The Bamford House Hotel, also welcomed the news, saying: “Hopefully it will give us some publicity abroad.

“He has been very supportive of Blackpool, and has been very vocal saying how much he enjoys coming to town.”

Last summer, he was photographed during a visit to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and claimed he was the attraction’s biggest fan.

Managing director Amanda Thompson said: “It is thrilling to welcome Tim Burton back to Blackpool and I’m delighted that Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s number one fan will be switching on the world’s number one Illuminations.”

Film fans have also praised the booking, with Ryan Mulholland from Fylde Film Society saying it ‘proves Blackpool is a quality place to be’.

“I’m a big fan of a lot of directors, but Tim Burton, as a character, is very well known by sight as well as for the style of his films, so it’s a great name to have,” he added. “It’s someone a little bit different too, who you wouldn’t think of for the job.”