The 2020 Virtual Switch-On party took place on 4 September. It was Blackpool’s biggest party of the year – and, as we went virtual, everyone was invited!
The free hour-long streamed concert, included exclusive “at home” performances by the likes of Melanie C, Becky Hill, Fleur East, Tom Grennan, Joel Corry, as well as a performance by Diversity and some special guest appearances.
How do I watch the Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On?
The stream for the Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On is no longer available to view, but see our highlights video below to see what happened:
Who switched on the Blackpool Illuminations 2020?
A group of Britain’s brave Corona Heroes switched on last year’s Blackpool Illuminations. They include a consultant, two nurses, a hospital catering manager, two extraordinary fundraisers, and a therapy dog and his owner.
They were joined in a closed set in the Empress Ballroom by the show hosts, Jordan & Perri, plus Ashley Banjo, Blackpool-born singer-songwriter Rae Morris, and the Illuminations’ creative curator Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
|Leona Harris: The nurse from Rossendale has worked as a COVID-19 frontline nurse at Fairfield Hospital in Bury since the start of the pandemic. Not only that, she has helped raise £75,000 and bought iPads for patients in hospitals, care homes, and hospices all over Britain to keep isolated patients and families connected. Her remarkable efforts earned her the nickname of “The Angel from the North”.
|Rachelle Sutton: For three months, the nurse moved out of the family home and lived in a hotel so that she could complete 12-hour shifts at the Nightingale Hospital in Manchester at the height of the pandemic. During that time she won the “star award” from Nightingale for her dedication and compassion for end-of-life patients.
|Will Ritchie: The six-year-old boy from the Wirral was born with a severe visual impairment and suffers with epilepsy. During lockdown his parents took the opportunity to increase his exercise tolerance. Over several weeks, he went from 100m to 1500m a day and then completed a challenge for June – Will’s Marathon Month. Inspirational Will has now completed 30 miles and raised more than £14,000 for the Wirral University Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust COVID-19 Support Fund.
|Dr Jason Cupitt: The consultant led the COVID response at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, working every day and most nights at the peak of the pandemic, spending only a few hours away from the hospital over several months. His constant presence provided encouragement and reassurance to staff and patients in the struggle against COVID-19.
|David Anderson and Jasper the therapy dog. Hospital chaplain David and his cockapoo have provided support and comfort to sick patients as well as boosting morale for the staff on wards at East Lancashire’s NHS Hospitals. Earlier this year, Jasper was presented with an “employee of the month” award for his services to the hospitals.
|Donna Doyle: Employed at Alder Hey Hospital for more than 40 years, the restaurant manager led her catering team through some unprecedented challenges, instantly doubling the number of meals produced on site to provide a free service for patients, families, volunteers and staff, and initiating a delivery service that took free food and drink to front-line staff.
|Kirsty Jones: The nurse from Blackpool’s Trinity Hospice moved into a flat by herself in order to continue her work but also protect her husband who had an underlying medical condition and was on the shielded list. After moving out of the family home on April 15, Kirsty was only able to make daily contact with her husband and two children through Facetime calls. She was eventually able to return home and be reunited with her family five weeks later.
Who performed at Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2020?
The Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On 2020 saw performances from Spice Girl Melanie C, Fleur East, Becky Hill, Tom Grennan, Diversity and Blackpool’s very own Rae Morris, with an after party DJ set from Joel Corry.