Star tenor to turn on display

Tenor Russell Watson will be switching on Lytham's Christmas lights.
Tenor Russell Watson will be switching on Lytham's Christmas lights.
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FESTIVE emotions will be at fever pitch at the launch of two of the Fylde coast’s biggest Christmas lights displays.

Tenor Russell Watson, already set to perform at Lytham Proms next summer, has been unveiled as the man to flick the switch on the town’s seasonal show.

While in a break with tradition, Blackpool will this year forego the usual switch-on party for a longer festival of entertainment.

The resort’s Business Improvement District (BID) has announced it will host a show every week for six-weeks, with a family funfair, food and drink emporium and a spectacular light show.

Town Centre BID manager Eileen Ormand said: “Feedback from the business about the switch-on is they want something which goes on longer.”

The first launch show will be held on November 22 at St John’s Square and feature professional performances by the cast of Funny Girls and the North Pier.

Blackpool will also have free parking in council facilities every Thursday throughout the six weeks.

Lytham lights organiser, Cuffe and Taylor Events, has helped secure singer Russell for its big event – arranged with Lytham Business Partnership – on Saturday, November 17.

Vice chairman Robert Silverwood said: “For a small place like Lytham this is amazing.

“This is a really nice opportunity for us to promote Lytham, getting people to be aware of it and spending money in the high street. We’re very happy with this.”

The day will be kicked off by Fylde’s Got Talent winner Kurtis Reid at 2pm, who will be preforming with Lytham Community Choir and the Freckleton Brass Band.

X Factor and Big Brother contestant Stephanie McMichael will also be on in the afternoon, as well as boy band Juice, local singer Peter Antony and party band The Love Rats.

St Annes-based Team GB silver medallist Shelly Woods also appear on stage before the switch-on at 4.30pm.

A spokesman for Cuffe and Taylor said: “Having recently announced Russell Watson for next year’s ‘Last night of the Proms’ we thought it would be extremely fitting if we got the man himself to switch the lights on.

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