Lancashire

Gary Barlow in talks over Blackpool Illuminations gig

Gary Barlow
Image caption Gary Barlow offered on Twitter to step in

Gary Barlow is in talks with organisers of the Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On concert about stepping in to perform after the headline act pulled out.

Irish rockers The Script were due to play at Friday's event but withdrew, citing a "serious family illness".

Take That's Barlow offered via Twitter to step in if organisers made a donation to Children in Need.

Blackpool Council said a replacement for The Script would be agreed by "early afternoon".

The X Factor judge tweeted: "Should know by midday if we can hit Blackpool tomorrow night! Rounding up my live band, technicians, production."

Barlow switched on the resort's famous lights in 1999.

Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: "He is one of the people we have spoken to.

'Better than before'

Claire Smith, the president of Stay Blackpool, said it was an "absolute nightmare" for The Script to have to pull out at such short notice.

However, she said it would be "wonderful" if Barlow could step in and do the show especially if a charity would benefit.

She said: "It may well end up we are better than before."

TV presenter Jonathan Ross is to turn on the illuminations, following the concert.

A statement from The Script's management said it was with "deepest regret" that the band had to cancel both their Leeds Academy gig on Thursday and the Illuminations Switch-On concert "due to a sudden serious family illness".

Organisers have offered full refunds on tickets but said other acts booked for the concert, such as Eliza Doolittle, would perform as planned.

They also said the gig by Madness on the second day of the Switch-On weekend would also go ahead as scheduled.

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