Rivalry slur of switch-on star

The X-Factor's Jonjo Kerr
The X-Factor's Jonjo Kerr
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The rivalry between Blackpool and Preston has been stoked by a former X Factor star.

Jonjo Kerr, a contestant in this year’s show, was drafted in at the eleventh hour to switch on Blackpool’s Christmas lights after chart-topping musician Tynchy Stryder pulled out with laryngitis.

Blackpool Town Centre and Bid manager Eileen Ormand.

Blackpool Town Centre and Bid manager Eileen Ormand.

The Yorkshire Regiment soldier then dashed to Preston to perform at the city Christmas lights switch on where he reportedly told the crowd they were “much better” than Blackpool’s.

However, Jonjo said he was “honoured” to be switching the lights on when he spoke to The Gazette on Saturday.

Eileen Ormand, from Blackpool Town Centre’s Business Improvement District (BID), says nobody is better at putting on a light show than Blackpool.

She added: “The lights are spectacular and nobody beats Blackpool for lights.

“I was there on Saturday and was pleased with his communication with the crowd and the fact he had stepped in. I’m surprised he has said that because he seemed really happy to be in Blackpool and was having a great time.”

The stage at St John’s Square faces the crowd and Mrs Ormand claims Jonjo did not see the full display.

She added: “I suspect he hasn’t seen the lights and he didn’t go into the town centre itself.”

Today the singer told The Gazette: “What I actually said was the crowd in Preston was bigger.

“I didn’t say any of the lights were better. I was actually overwhelmed with the support of the people in Blackpool and they were so nice to me.”