Pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor to switch on this year's Blackpool Illuminations
and live on Freeview channel 276
Fresh from her appearance on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, Sophie Ellis-Bextor will perform on the Tower Festival Headland on Friday (September 1) before pulling the switch to trigger four months of Illuminations.
Her guest appearance will be the finale of a spectacular free family event that includes a Nickelodeon float parade, live entertainment, light show and fireworks.
Sophie shot to fame as a vocalist on Spiller’s huge number one single, ‘Groovejet’ and her worldwide hit, ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’.
Her debut solo album, Read My Lips, sold more than two million copies.
She has since released seven studio albums, including her latest, HANA, which has already charted in the top ten and enjoyed more than a million streams within weeks of its release.
Earlier this year, she performed her first single from the new album, Breaking The Circle, alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra for an exclusive BBC Radio 2 Piano Session.
In 2020, her phenomenally successful Kitchen Discos, performed at home during lockdown with her five sons, recorded by her husband, musician Richard Jones, and shared on Instagram, were watched and enjoyed by 40 million people around the world.
That resulted in a regular Radio 2 show as well as the release of her first live album, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco: Live From The London Palladium.
In November 2021, she embarked on a 24-hour Kitchen Disco Danceathon for Children In Need, raising more than £1m. This winter, Sophie will be taking her Christmas Kitchen Disco live show on a UK tour.
Sophie said: “I’m so excited to be coming back to Blackpool to perform a few of my favourite tracks and to switch on the iconic Blackpool Illuminations!
“I can’t wait to see you all there!”
Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We are thrilled to announce Sophie Ellis-Bextor as this year’s Switch-On star.
“She is a pop phenomenon with a fabulous recording career and someone who captured the hearts of the public during lockdown. We can’t wait to see her light up Blackpool.”
The Switch-On moment is part of a spectacular programme of free entertainment which will start with a colourful float parade featuring the stars of Nickelodeon, the world’s favourite children’s TV channel.
Starting from Central Pier, the parade will feature larger-than-life characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Baby Shark, Monsters High and Transformers.
They will be joined by around 100 dancers, musicians and street performers as they make their way to the Tower Festival Headland for a free family party.
That will be followed by a specially-commissioned sound and light show on The Blackpool Tower that will be synchronised with LED wristbands to be given out to spectators, and then topped off with a fireworks finale.
The whole event will be free to access with no tickets required.
The build-up will commence from 7pm, with the float parade scheduled to start around 7.30pm.
The main celebrations on the Tower Festival Headland will take place between approximately 8pm and 9.30pm.
Among the performers in the grand parade will be Lancashire’s own 2nd Rossendale Scout Group Band, a hugely talented group of young musicians who have performed all over the UK, including an appearance at Windsor Castle in front of the Queen.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Illuminations would once again be extended by two months, running nightly until January 1, 2024.
Following the launch of the giant Odyssey installation during 2022, the Illuminations manufacturing team are working on three brand new, large-scale light installations for the coming season, two of them designed by internationally-renowned artists, the other a tribute to the iconic Spitfire aircraft.