Comedian Johnny Vegas to switch on Blackpool Illuminations

The St Helens- born comedian called the opportunity a 'real honour'. Credit: PA Images

Legendary actor and comedian Johnny Vegas is to switch on this year’s Blackpool Illuminations.

St Helens-born Johnny will pull the famous switch at the end of a live concert in The Tower Ballroom on Friday 2 September, starting four months of colourful illuminations.

This year’s Switch-On concert will be made up of more than 2,000 winners of a free-to-enter ballot.

Although the ballot has now closed, there will be a limited number of golden circle tickets going on sale later this month.

The concert, which is being produced in association with MTV, will feature performances from Blue, one of the UK’s most successful bands over the past two decades, singer-songwriter Tom Grennan and Mae Muller, one of music’s most exciting new talents.

Johnny will pull the famous switch at the end of a live concert in The Tower Ballroom on Friday 2 September. Credit: ITV News

The concert and Switch-On moment will also be live streamed across MTV and VisitBlackpool channels, and event organisers are exploring the possibility of streaming the event to an outdoor audience on the Tower Festival Headland.

Johnny follows in the footsteps of a host of national and international celebrities who have pulled the switch down the years including the likes of Peter Kay, Tim Burton, Alfie Boe, Diversity, Star Trek, Jayne Mansfield and Robbie Williams.

Last year’s Switch-On celebration saw Shirley Ballas, head judge of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, pull the switch. It was watched by more than 160,000 people from as far afield as Australia, Canada and the United States.

One of Britain’s best-known comic talents, he has performed in numerous TV shows including Benidorm and Shooting Stars. He also featured in the award-winning film, Eaten By Lions, which was set in Blackpool.

Johnny's switch on will trigger four months of illuminations. Credit: VisitBlackpool

In 2021, Johnny visited Lightworks, the home of the Blackpool Illuminations, with the Salvage Hunters team and, as part of the programme, did a mock “switch on” of the illuminations.

Johnny said: "As a northerner through and through, it is a real honour to be asked to switch on the iconic Illuminations. I have a great affection for Blackpool and am really looking forward to the big night in the Tower Ballroom."

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said today: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce Johnny Vegas as this year’s Switch-On star.

“Down the years, he has been a true ambassador for Blackpool and his love of the Illuminations is obvious."

A 2,000 strong concert will see Johnny Vegas switch on the lights. Credit: ITV News

“This year, we are delighted to invite him back to do the real thing in front of a worldwide audience.”

Full details of the Switch-On event with updates on timings and tickets, can be found on their website.

Winners of the free ballot tickets will be notified over the coming weeks.