Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to switch on Blackpool Illuminations

30 August 2022

TV celebrity and designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is to turn on this year’s Blackpool Illuminations.

The star of Channel 4’s Changing Rooms will pull the famous switch at the end of a live concert in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Friday 2 September.

He replaces actor and comedian Johnny Vegas who announced last week he was being forced to pull out of the Switch-On ceremony due to unforeseen personal circumstances.

Laurence has collaborated with the Illuminations team for several years, designing a number of spectacular features and installations.

His appearance as Switch-On star this year coincides with the unveiling of a dazzling makeover for the Golden Mile in which Laurence has created a stretch of Art Deco-style features that will celebrate a golden age of 1930s glamour.

The 21 overhead light installations form a brand new section entitled Neo Neon in front of The Blackpool Tower. Each measuring almost 14 metres in length, the installations are divided into three separate styles – arches, wings and fans. Together, they will create a stunning new look on the resort’s best-known stretch of promenade.

Laurence said: “The Blackpool Illuminations represent something really special in the hearts of the British people and I am thrilled to be able to pull that famous switch in the magnificent Tower Ballroom.”

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, added: “Laurence is one of our greatest ambassadors and it is fitting that he should be pulling the switch in a year when he completely reimagined how the Golden Mile will look during the autumn and winter seasons.”

The annual Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On concert, which is being staged in association with MTV, will be filmed in front of a live audience in the ballroom. Almost 2,000 tickets for the show were issued via a free ballot that attracted tens of thousands of applications.

Hosted by Becca Dudley, the concert will include performances by Blue, Tom Grennan, Mae Muller, Fuse ODG and Nina Nesbitt. It will then be followed by the official Switch-On, triggering four months of Illuminations in the resort.

The concert and Switch-On moment will be streamed to a global audience via VisitBlackpool and MTV channels. Last year, that attracted more than 160,000 views from as far afield as Australia, Canada and the United States. It will also be live-streamed on a specially-erected screen on the nearby Tower Festival Headland.

For full timings and details of the Illuminations Switch-On event, go to:

The 2022 Blackpool Illuminations have once again been extended by two months and will shine each night from September 2 to January 2, 2023. For Switch-On times and full details of this year’s display, go to:

Blackpool Illuminations remain one of the UK’s most endearing and enduring tourist attractions, having shone for more than a century.

Blackpool was one of the first of 101 towns in the UK to secure funding from the Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund. With the help of this support, funds were allocated to upgrade the Blackpool Illuminations to attract additional visitors by developing new features and lighting technology.

The newly-reimagined Golden Mile area is the first section of the Illuminations to benefit. The roadway section is entirely programmable, giving the Illuminations team full control of the lighting display.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “This newly-designed section is spellbinding, taking visitors on a colourful and evocative journey through the nostalgic era of the thirties. It showcases the true creativity of Laurence and our talented in-house Illuminations team.”

Other features to be unveiled during this year’s Illuminations season and associated Lightpool Festival (which runs from October 14-29) include the biggest ever standalone installation, Odyssey, which has been co-created by international designer Jack Irving and a team from Lancaster University.

The new Beachside Boulevard is a seaside-themed roadside section featuring brightly lit neon sandcastles and multi-coloured waves. Keeping to the seaside theme, watch out for two giant pixelated beach balls on the Tower Festival Headland, each standing more than seven metres tall and providing a spectacular walk-through experience!

And don’t forget, we’ve still got all this to look forward to over the coming months so save the dates in your diary:

Ride The Lights

One of the most magical nights in Blackpool’s event calendar when, for one night only, the six miles of Promenade will close to give cyclists an opportunity to get a sneak preview of the Illuminations on August 30.

World Fireworks Championship Blackpool

Watch the Blackpool night skies light up with four brilliant firework displays synced to music as teams from across the world battle it out. Three countries will participate over alternate Saturdays on September 17, October 1 and October 15, with the showcase event taking place on Friday 28 October sponsored by Coral Island.

Lightpool Festival

The award-winning Lightpool Festival returns, sponsored by Fox Brothers Group, with an amazing free-to-see programme of light installations, 3D projection shows, art trails, and stunning live performances from October 14-29.

Christmas By The Sea

2021 saw the Tower Festival Headland turned into an outdoor winter wonderland with skating rink, magic forest, snowfalls, log cabins and festive projection shows. We will be unwrapping our plans for this year’s Christmas By The Sea, sponsored by TalkTalk, in the coming weeks.

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