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Sneak preview of Blackpool's Illuminations

Cyclist took up the chance to see the lights first Credit: Vicky Grimes ITV

Hundreds of cyclists have got a sneak preview of Blackpool's illuminations by taking part in the popular 'Ride the Lights' event in the resort. Hundreds rode along the famous front where this year's displays are ready.

Riders got to see the lights before the big switch on this weekend Credit: Vicky Grimes ITV

The official big switch on is this Friday as part of a three day festival. Hollywood director Tim Burton, whose hit movies include, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, will be the star flicking the switch this year.

Tim Burton comes to Blackpool on Friday for the big switch on Credit: PA

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  1. Rob Smith, ITV News

Steven's family refuse to give up hope - ten years after he disappeared

The appeal to find Steven. Credit: Cheshire Police.

In 2005 a young man called Steven Cook disappeared while on holiday on the Greek island of Crete.

His family from Sandbach have refused to accept Steven is dead and have not stopped in their efforts to find him.

Now 10 years to the day since he vanished, they've launched a fresh appeal.

Rob Smith looks at one family's fight for answers:

Steven's brother Chris came into studio and Tony and Ann asked him if his family thought about him every day:

Man charged over concert pianist murder

Natalia Strelchenko. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A man has been charged with the murder of international concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko.

John Martin, thought to be Ms Strelchenko's partner and manager, has been charged with murder.

He was also charged with the attempted murder of a boy under the age of 17.

Martin has been remanded into custody to appear before Manchester Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Police launched a murder investigation after Ms Strelchenko, 38, was found injured at a house in Culcheth Lane, Newton Heath, at about 12.45am on Sunday.

Paramedics attempted to revive her at the scene, but she died a short time later.

  1. Chris Hall, ITV News

Meet the team of North West schoolboys who've all been signed by professional clubs

Transfer deadline day often leaves fans gutted about the players they lose to other clubs.

But what if you lost your whole team?

That's what's happened to Vauxhall Motors Under 8s, who are celebrating getting every one of their squad signed up to professional clubs.

Chris Hall went to meet the pride of Ellesmere Port.

Everton's Darron Gibson admits knocking over a group of cyclists while drunk at the wheel

Everton footballer Darren Gibson has been banned from driving after admitting crashing his sports car into a group of cyclists while over the limit.

Trafford magistrates heard how he fled the scene of the crash near Bowden last month before smashing into a petrol pump at a nearby filling station.

Ralph Blunsom reports:

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How technology's being used in the fight against flytippers

It's one of the annoying sights as you travel through the area where you live - piles of rubbish dumped on the side of the road.

Figures released by local councils across Britain - including many from the North West - show that despite all the anti-litter campaigns and threats of fines - fly-tipping is actually on the rise.

But councils are fighting back, as Tim Scott reports:

United confirm Martial deal on a four-year contract

Martial unveiled today at Manchester United. Credit: Manchester United.

Manchester United have announced the signing of forward Anthony Martial from Monaco on a four-year contract.

Louis van Gaal took his total expenditure as Manchester United manager to over a quarter of a billion pounds following the signing of Anthony Martial from Monaco.

United failed in their last-minute bid to offload goalkeeper David de Gea to Real Madrid on Monday night, but there were no late hiccups regarding Martial.

The Old Trafford club confirmed on Tuesday afternoon they had completed a deal to sign the 19-year-old French striker for a fee believed to be worth in excess of £36million.

Martial becomes the 12th signing of Van Gaal's reign. In total, the Dutchman has spent around £261million on new additions since he took over as manager last summer.

The 19-year-old also becomes the most expensive teenager in the history of football, eclipsing the £30million fee Van Gaal paid for Luke Shaw last year.

Monaco, who signed Martial from Lyon two years ago, rate the player highly, but the Ligue 1 club admitted United's offer was simply too good to turn down.

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told the club's website: "We wished to keep him this season but Manchester United made an incredible offer that neither Anthony, nor AS Monaco, could refuse."

The forward, who scored 15 goals in 70 appearances for Monaco, has signed a four-year contract, with the option of another year.

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