Robbie Williams to switch on Blackpool illuminations

Robbie Williams will perform the switch-on of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations tonight.

The star, newly-reunited with Take That, will flick on the lights which will shine bright for 66 nights until November 7.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the resort to see Williams with a special switch-on concert also taking place.

Up to 42,000 hopefuls logged onto the visitBlackpool website in one week to request a total of 152,569 tickets for the gig following the announcement that Williams would be appearing.

The concert, in a purpose-built arena off the Promenade, will feature opera singer Russell Watson, boy band The Wanted, X-Factor runner-up Olly Murs, pop singers Gabriella Cilmi and Alesha Dixon, girl group Bond and US pop rockers The Plain White T's.

Williams, who will not perform, will switch on the illuminations at 9pm.

A big screen at St Chad's headland on the Promenade will show the concert and the switch-on for those who were unable to get tickets.

Cllr Maxine Callow, Blackpool Council's cabinet member for regeneration and tourism, said: "This is truly a wonderful line-up and we're delighted that we'll be welcoming thousands of people to the resort for switch-on night and that we are able to support businesses yet again by providing people with another reason to visit Blackpool."