Red Dwarf and Coronation Street star to switch on Morecambe Christmas lights

TV and radio star Craig Charles will switch on the Morecambe Christmas lights in what’s set to be the biggest festive extravaganza the town has ever seen.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 3:30 pm
Craig Charles will be switching on Morecambe Christmas lights. Photos by Luke Baker

The Morecambe Sparkle weekend will be headlined by the popular actor, comedian and international DJ who is famed for his television roles in Red Dwarf and Coronation Street.

The switch-on on Sunday December 1 at the Festival Market will also see live music from top Little Mix and Robbie Williams tributes, as well as local acts Jason Stardust, Ashleigh Wood and Sold to the Sky.

Hosted by Beyond Radio presenters Duncan Moore and Greg Lambert, an afternoon of live entertainment will come to an exciting end when Craig Charles flicks the switch to officially begin the countdown to Christmas in Morecambe.

LMX Little Mix tribute band will be performing on the Festival Market stage for the Morecambe Christmas lights switch-on.

Then the celebrations continue into the early hours as Craig heads over to the historic Winter Gardens theatre in Morecambe to headline the Soul Train Christmas Party night.

Craig shot to fame playing Dave Lister in the hit sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf then later starred as Lloyd Mullaney in the nation’s favourite soap Coronation Street.

He was presenter of cult TV game show Robot Wars and narrator of comedy endurance show Takeshi’s Castle.

The star also hosts the Craig Charles House Party on BBC Radio 2 and regularly DJs at venues and festivals all over the world.

Jason Stardust.

Morecambe Sparkle is a full weekend of celebrations in the town organised by Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) in association with Jump Rush, Morecambe Music Festival and Beyond Radio.

The fun kicks off on Friday November 29 when Morecambe Music Festival presents a night of live music in some of the town’s best-known pubs.

This festive version of the town’s popular free music festival will include well-known local acts including Dan Doherty, Rock It Man, Melanie Horabin, ‘Soul Man’ Mark Yates and Mark McKenna.

Then on Saturday November 30, Morecambe BID will host ‘An Evening with Eden’ at the Platform.

Some of the main figures looking to bring the Eden Project North to Morecambe will be on hand to talk about the latest plans for this major new facility and answer questions from the audience.

The purpose of this event is to dispel the myth that Eden is just a tourist attraction and is an educational charity that will have a positive impact on the whole area.

‘An Evening with Eden’ is completely sold out and will be hosted by Beyond Radio presenter Greg Lambert with proceeds from tickets going to local charities.

The Christmas lights extravaganza on Sunday December 1 begins at 2pm on the Festival Market stage with popular singer and guitarist Jason Stardust, followed by top vocalist Ashleigh Wood and the always-entertaining Lancaster band Sold to the Sky.

Dean Betton will sing the hits of the legendary Robbie Williams and then leading Little Mix tribute LMX will have everyone singing and dancing along to the hits of Britain’s favourite girl group.

Craig Charles will round off a spectacular afternoon of Christmas entertainment in style by switching on the lights backed by a spectacular fireworks finale from the Stone Jetty.

After the switch-on, Craig will also headline the Soul Train Christmas party night at Morecambe Winter Gardens on the evening of Sunday, December 1 running from 7.30pm to 12.30pm.

Expect a night filled with soul classics, funky beats, smooth rhymes and everything in-between. Support comes from Morecambe DJ legend Steve Middlesbrough and Jo Manji.

Tickets are £15 in person from Morecambe Visitor Information Centre, Lancaster Visitor Information Centre, Soul Bowl, Briggs Shoes, the Old Pier Bookshop, 13 The Warehouse or the Winter Gardens box office or call 01524 582808.

There is also a £25 ‘Dine then Dance’ offer available from Soul Bowl & Vista.

The funk and soul tunes will keep on coming with the official after party at the Soul Bowl until 3am. No tickets necessary, just head on over after the Soul Train Christmas Party finishes.

John O’Neill, Morecambe BID manager, said: “This year Morecambe BID, with the help of our partners, is ramping up its Morecambe Sparkle celebrations for Christmas.

“It’s a whole weekend schedule starting with the Friday night music festival, our ‘Evening with Eden’ on the Saturday night at the Platform, and then our lights switch on, fireworks and entertainment at Festival Market on the Sunday afternoon. Craig Charles is our special guest at the switch on and he will be performing at the Winter Gardens that evening, and tickets are still available.

“It’s a big weekend for us, and a big weekend for the town. Morecambe is really starting to come into its own again and we are proud to be part of that journey.”

Nathan Hill, commercial director at Beyond Radio, said: “The Morecambe Sparkle weekend is part of the very important work that Morecambe BID undertakes in our district and we’re thrilled that we can be part of it in 2019.

“We encourage as many people as possible to come down to Morecambe on Sunday December 1 to enjoy the party atmosphere of the Morecambe Christmas lights switch-on. We are planning a special on-air programme broadcasting live from the event so people who can’t make it down in person will still be able to enjoy the live music and atmosphere of the big day by tuning their radios to 103.5FM or listening via our app or online stream.”

Stuart Michaels, founder of Morecambe Music Festival, said: “The festival was fantastically successful in summer 2019 so it’s great to be asked to bring a flavour of the event to the Morecambe Sparkle weekend.

“Fans of local live music will be able to kick the weekend off in style by enjoying a whole range of acts in Morecambe town centre pubs on the Friday night brought to you by Morecambe Music Festival, then get in the Christmas spirit with two superb tribute artists, as well as the fantastic Jason Stardust, Ashleigh Wood and Sold to the Sky in the build-up to Craig Charles switching on the Christmas lights on the Sunday.”

The Festival Market will also be open on the day of the switch-on. Father Christmas will be in his grotto from 11am to 5pm and there will be music from Lancaster Brass Band. There is also free parking at the market on Sunday December 1.