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Matthew Lewis will turn on town's Christmas lights
2:20pm Thursday 17th November 2011 in Local news
A Harry Potter film star will step into Sir Jimmy Savile’s shoes and turn on Ilkley’s Christmas lights.
Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the blockbuster film series, has agreed to replace the veteran DJ and broadcaster, who died last month at the age of 84, and turn on the lights on Saturday.
Last night, one of the event organisers and a friend of Sir Jimmy, who was due to turn on the lights in Ilkley for the third time, said the former entertainer would be pleased with the choice of Mr Lewis, 22, to stand in for him.
It is understood the pair had worked together on charity projects in the past.
“It’s quite upsetting for me because it would have been his third time and he was looking forward to it,” said organiser David Giddings.
“It was a little bit doubtful he could have made it because he wasn’t well enough. But I’m sure Matthew will be saying a few words about Jim because he went with Jim on a few events to do with charity.
“I’m saddened by the loss of Sir Jimmy and we were all looking forward to that event, but we’re so grateful Matthew can come along at such short notice and take the reins to do the lights.
“Jim would have been pleased that someone like Matthew, who he knew, would come and do the lights.
“We can only thank Matthew and hope the weather’s fine on the day.”
The lights switch-on takes place at 5pm on The Grove.
Mr Lewis, who was born in Horsforth, is about to start filming in Leeds on a new BBC drama written by Kay Mellor, called The Syndicate.
It is a tale about supermarket workers who win big on the lottery.