Blackpool Illuminations: Sophie Ellis-Bextor flicks switch on lights

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has capped a "bonkers" year by flicking the switch and turning on Blackpool Illuminations.

The singer, who became something of a national treasure with her Kitchen Disco during the Covid lockdowns topped the bill at the resort's annual official switch-on party.

Ellis-Bextor, who opened Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage in June, was preceded by a parade of floats along the promenade.

Despite changeable weather, thousands turned out to enjoy the show.

Prior to the switch-on, the star said she had visited Blackpool "many times over the years".

"I first came here as a little girl to see the Illuminations, so it's really exciting that now I'm the one to flick the switch," she said.

Ellis-Bextor, who treated the crowd to a set of her hits, said the last time she had visited, she "did a quickstep" in the Tower Ballroom for Strictly Come Dancing, so it was "nice to be back".

"As soon as I was asked to do the Blackpool lights, I was in immediately," she said.

"The Illuminations are iconic, but actually the more I learnt about it, the bigger it was.

"It's been happening for 89 years, so to have my name added to the list was very special."

The Illuminations will be lit for the next four months, after the display was once again extended to New Year's Day to give a boost to local tourism.

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