Belfast Telegraph

Partridge switched on for Christmas

Alan Partridge has moved into a new form of light entertainment - after being turned into a giant moving festive illumination in his home town of Norwich.

He may not be in a pear tree, but Partridge is celebrating the days of Christmas as a 30ft high light sculpture suspended from 15 tonnes of scaffolding.

The structure was switched on by TV presenter Jake Humphrey, also from the city, as it brightened up the streets for thousands of shoppers.

The huge model even has a moving mouth and lighting engineers have programmed it to sing along to the 80s chart hit Cuddly Toy by Roachford, to which Steve Coogan mimed in his movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

It has been created by online streaming service Blinkbox to mark its release of the film on December 2.

The Partridge sculpture also fired powerful lasers from its eyes to project giant images of the character dancing on nearby buildings and into the sky.

A design worked for more than a month to prepare the display, using more than 10,000 lights, and 500 metres of light rope.

Partridge's pal Michael (played by actor Simon Greenall) read out a note to visitors at the switch-on, which said: "Dear people of Norwich, and to a lesser extent anyone here from Suffolk - welcome! I'm genuinely heart-broken not to be there with you, but it's quiz night at the Rose & Crown and I'm the designated driver.

"You're about to witness the biggest turning on of lights since the end of the three-day week. The electricity used to power the illuminations is enough to run a trouser press for over 25 years. Instead, it's powering an LED effigy of my face and body, lighting up the Christmas night just as the Archangel Gabriel did over two thousand years ago. I hope you have a wonderful festive season. A-ha."

Ben Ayers from Blinkbox said: "We wanted to make a Christmas statement that would match Alan's enormous ego. Alan is looking forward to the hefty royalties sure to be generated by views of the movie on Blinkbox."

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