Having a laugh and funds for heroes

Ian Coleman, second from left, celebrates the success of last year's Poppython
Ian Coleman, second from left, celebrates the success of last year's Poppython
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The line-up for the 25th annual Poppython entertainment marathon has been announced.

The fund-raising celebration, in aid of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, returns next month, for a silver anniversary showcase of talent.

Taking to the stage at Blackpool’s RBL Club in King Street, on Saturday, October 18, will be High Jinx - best known for their regular Pleasure Beach illusion show, Classic Sound, Nikki Leonard and comedians Jimmy Nairn and Johnny Casson.

Among the guests of honour helping to celebrate the quarter century of Poppython will also be John Crisford, national chairman of the RBL.

Organiser and Blackpool RBL stalwart, Ian Coleman said: “Through the Poppython we have raised more than £130,000, and made the Blackpool RBL club the most famous in the world.”

That fund-raising total is the largest amount raised for any Remembrance Day event outside of the sale of the actual poppies.

“The Poppython is a unique event, with more than 1,000 acts having given their time over the years,” Ian added.

“Each year, it’s a day of surprises and wonderful people all there to entertain.

“We ask for a donation on the door of £2.50; it’s the cheapest great show in the country - and the best.”

Last year Ian stepped down from the role of president of the Blackpool branch after 25 years, but he’s continued in the proud position of running the showbiz highlight of his work with the legion.

The 2013 show lasted six and a half hours and added to the events coffers, which support war heroes past and present.

From humble beginnings in 1990, when the day raised £1,750, by the end of last years event that had topped £126,000 - rising to more than £130,000 as the countdown begins for this year’s celebration.

The Royal British Legion has been campaigning on behalf of serving members of the armed forces and veterans since 1921.

It is the UK’s leading service charity and provides care and support to everyone connected with the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.