Six NHS workers and a young fundraiser will switch on the Blackpool Illuminations – being held away from the public for the first time in more than 70 years.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the resort’s annual celebration will take place on Friday night behind closed doors, but will be filmed in the Tower Ballroom.
The “Corona Heroes” will join the event hosted by Diversity’s Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely, Blackpool-born singer-songwriter Rae Morris and the Illuminations’ creative curator Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
This year’s theme of Bring On The Light will feature a display of hearts and rainbows along the Promenade’s Golden Mile, along with images of a further 48 Corona Heroes from hundreds of nominations across the UK.
Those chosen to pull the switch include nurse Leona Harris, from Rossendale, Lancashire, nicknamed “the Angel from the North”. She helped raise £75,000 to buy iPads for patients in hospitals, care homes and hospices all over Britain to keep families connected.
Joining her is six-year-old Will Ritchie, from Wirral, Merseyside, who raised £14,000 for hospitals in the area after he walked a marathon in a month.
The youngster, who was born with severe visual impairment and suffers with epilepsy, struggled to reach 100 metres at the start of lockdown but later stepped up to 1,500 metres a day.