Award-winning actress Lucy Fallon made a short trip from the cobbles of Coronation Street to her home town of Blackpool to switch on the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations.
Lucy, 23, pulled the switch in front of almost 20,000 people on the Tower Festival Headland sparking a colourful explosion of light and pyrotechnics along the seafront, and triggering 66 nights of Illuminations.
She now joins a roll of honour of Switch-On celebrities including the likes of Hollywood film director, Tim Burton, Robbie Williams, Peter Kay and Dame Barbara Windsor.
Moments before, Lucy spoke of her pride at being invited to perform at the Switch-On in the town where she learned her craft, studying singing, acting and drama from the age of two, and making her first public stage appearance as a dancer in pantomime at the historic Blackpool Grand Theatre.
Since then, she has had a stellar rise to success, winning numerous awards and plaudits in her role as Bethany Platt in Coronation Street.
The Switch-On was the centrepiece of a dazzling four-hour concert, delivered in association with MTV and featuring performances from Busted, Diversity, Becky Hill, Nina Nesbitt, Sigma and R3Wire & Varski.
There were also special guest appearances by the Flakefleet Children’s Choir, who wowed the public with their joyous performances on Britain’s Got Talent, and by Sooty, the UK’s most enduring children’s TV character who was “discovered” in Blackpool and who, this year, has his own section in the Blackpool Illuminations display.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “The Illuminations Switch-On night has become one of the great events in the tourism calendar, steeped in decades of history and tradition.
“It always make it so much more special when the Switch-On star has an emotional bond with Blackpool and we are delighted that Lucy was able to turn on the Illuminations in front of a huge audience including so many of her family and friends.”
The Blackpool Illuminations, so often billed as the greatest free light show on earth, will now run nightly until November 3. Illuminations season will also include a two-week Lightpool Festival between October 11 and 26 when there will be a free programme of entertainment including extraordinary light installations, 3D projections on to the front of the Blackpool Tower, an illuminated tram parade and live performance.