Lights switch-on has the X Factor

The crowds at Blackpool Christmas lights switch on
The crowds at Blackpool Christmas lights switch on
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DESPITE chart-topping singer Tinchy Stryder cancelling at the eleventh hour, thousands of people flocked to St John’s Square to see Blackpool’s Christmas lights being switched on.

The R&B star was forced to pull out of the concert due to a bout of laryngitis – but X Factor 2011 contestant Jonjo Kerr saved the day and stepped in to add festive sparkle around the resort.

The X-Factor's Jonjo Kerr

The X-Factor's Jonjo Kerr

Tynchy told fans online he had worn his voice out during the Children In Need concert the night before:

He added: “My voice is killing me. I was told to rest it but I strained through the CiN performance and now its going, going, gone.”

But a delighted Jonjo said: “I’m really honoured to be turning the lights on. It’s really exciting. It’s been surreal – I went from being at work to being on television and doing things like this.”

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Crowds had begun to gather from around lunchtime on Saturday for the special concert which was organised by VisitBlackpool and Rock FM.

The town was transformed into a winter wonderland with a glistening 40ft Christmas tree and families dancing around as snow fell down on them.

Teenagers went crazy for The Reason – who starred in last year’s X Factor – after they were called in to perform at the last minute.

Former Neighbours star Sam Clark, who played guitar during his set, said: “I’m spending a lot of time in Blackpool at the moment, I’ve got great fans here.”

Local singing sensations 18-year-old Steph Fraser, from Cleveleys, and 15-year-old Nancy Petulengro, from South Shore, as well as dance group FY Westcoast received roars of applause.

Natalie Wyatt, head of VisitBlackpool, said: “It’s unfortunate Tinchy Stryder couldn’t be here, but you can’t foresee an illness. We informed the crowd and they stayed. I heard lots of cheers for Jonjo Kerr.”