ry Barlow may have had his hands full recently with the return of the X Factor, but the Take That band member still made time for Blackpool last night as he stepped in to “save” the Illuminations’ switch-on with a last- minute performance.
Irish rockers The Script were due to fill the headline slot, but were forced to cancel the show just three days ago after a serious family illness.
The talent show judge tweeted:
I hear Blackpool are looking for someone to switch the lights on this year ? If they’d write a cheque to Children in need I’d do it ?
— Gary Barlow (@GaryBarlow) August 28, 2013
After hearing the news, the X-Factor judge took to Twitter and offered to step in if the organisers wrote a cheque to Children In Need. Bosses quickly accepted and made a donation and he wowed the 5,000 strong crowd with a 45 minute set including a number of his hits.
Gary saves the day! Star stepped in to perform at the Blackpool Illuminations last night (Photo: WENN)
Councillor Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council said, according to the Manchester Evening News: “Gary’s very generous offer on Twitter was extremely flattering and as soon as we saw it we contacted him straight away to take him up on it.”
He continued: “Not only has Gary taken time out of his busy schedule to play on Friday but he has also asked for a donation to charity in place of his performance fee.”
“I am delighted to make that donation to Children in Need.”
Coun Graham Cain, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, said: “Gary has shown his love for Blackpool by tweeting about the town and the Illuminations before and he even turned on the Illuminations back in 1999.”
“He’s always been a fan of town and has now stepped in during our hour of need. Gary’s our switch on saviour.”
The X Factor judge tweeted this morning:
The real star #pudsey #bbccin pic.twitter.com/ZlxsVCoK5c
— Gary Barlow (@GaryBarlow) August 31, 2013