Robbie Williams switches on Blackpool illuminations

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Media captionFans queue for hours for a glimpse of Robbie Williams

Thousands of people turned out to see Robbie Williams switch on Blackpool's illuminations.

The star flicked the switch for the lights, which will shine for 66 nights along a six-mile stretch of the resort's seafront, at 2100 BST.

He told the crowd at the promenade's Central Arena he used to enjoy going to the resort as a child.

Williams, who is newly-reunited with his Take That band mates, did not perform at the accompanying concert.

Singer Russell Watson, boy band The Wanted, X-Factor runner-up Olly Murs, pop singers Gabriella Cilmi and Alesha Dixon, girl group Bond and US band The Plain White T's, were all due to perform.

More than 150,000 people applied for the 15,000 tickets available for the world-famous lights show.

Those who were unsuccessful were able to watch it on a big screen at St Chad's headland.

The illuminations generate an estimated £275m for the resort.

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