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Town's backers are all aglow

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

BLUES sponsors TXU Energi has come up with another bright idea after backing Ipswich Town – by sponsoring the Blackpool Illuminations.

Pop band Steps will be tripping the light fantastic tomorrow(FRI)) by switching on the world-famous lights.

BLUES sponsors TXU Energi has come up with another bright idea after backing Ipswich Town – by sponsoring the Blackpool Illuminations.

Pop band Steps will be tripping the light fantastic tomorrow(FRI)) by switching on the world-famous lights.

This year they are being powered by the Ipswich-based electricity company, whose forerunner Norweb Energy were the previous suppliers before it teamed up with Eastern Electricity to become TXU.

A host of stars, including Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Lisa Stansfield, Roxette and Marti Pellow, will be accompanying Steps in a celebratory free concert broadcast by BBC Radio 2 to mark the moment the illuminations blaze into glory.

"The power behind the lights" is the company's slogan for the event – and a TXU Energi spokesman said it was "excited" to play a part, even though they paid a "five-figure" sum for the privilege.

"TXU Energi is sponsoring the Blackpool Illuminations as part of our commitment to the North West," explained head of marketing Matthew Crane. "We have over two million customers in the area, many of whom enjoy the lights every year."

The company name and slogan will be prominently displayed along the six miles of dazzling light displays. But a spokesman insisted that the displays will be a tasteful exercise of "branding" and not tacky.

A 76ft long dinosaur is one "high-light" among the 500 designs made up of more than 400,000 lamps, which have run up a bill of a £2.4m. The amount of electricity used comes to around £50,000.

Steps are the latest celebrities to make it all bright on the night by flicking the famous switch. The Bee Gees, Shirley Bassey and Gracie Fields are just some of the stars who have made all systems glow since the Illuminations were first lit in 1879.

Even international tyrant, Colonel Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, was so dazzled by the lights that 20 years ago he made a bid to buy the lights, lock stock and barrel. Luckily, he was unsuccessful.

Weblinks:

www.blackpooltourism.com

www.eastern.co.uk

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