Matthew Lewis will turn on town's Christmas lights

Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis

First published 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.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:22pm Wed 23 Nov 11

olicanaman says...

It was indeed very sad to hear of the death of one of this country's truly inspriational characters, but I'm certain Sir Jim would have approved of Matthew stepping into his shoes.
Huge thanks must go out to independent retailer David Giddings who has worked tirelessly for many years behind the scenes of the christmas lights switch-on, often without deserved recognition for organising the famous names who come to switch on our towns lights for little or no monetary recompense. It is a very difficult task to find anyone in the public arena who will do this for a measly fee that is granted by Ilkley Parish Council from taxpayers money through our precept contributions.
Mr Giddings wholly deserves our gratitude for making these celebrations a little more attractive. Thank you David.

Having said that, I and many retailers throughout Ilkley are once again appalled at the inexcusable 'display' of lights across the town this year.
As an independent retailer and resident of Ilkley, not only do I pay my council tax precept, but also I pay over £9000 per annum business rates to Bradford Council. And I am only 1 of over 100, many who pay MUCH more than I do!!
Despite the un-recognised efforts of several Ilkley Parish ex-councillors to improve the lighting across our town in recent years, the displays each year are getting worse and worse, yet every year, the Parish Council extol the virtues of their organising the 'wonderful' display!!
Wonderful it is not! Disappointing and sparse it is! Embarrassing too!!
Count the number of lighting stanchions along Leeds Road from Ilkley Windows to the Brook Street junction and you will see my point! I counted 4 displays. This is our towns main focal display opportunity to attract and amaze passing tourists and potential customers for our dwindling economy! Dreadful and dreary!!
Drive a few miles to Silsden or Burley in Wharfedale and see what these townsfolk have done to brighten up their main streets. They look FAR better than the Parish Councils attempts in our town and no doubt on a miniscule budget too!
I have it on good authority from a council member in Ilkley that our so-called displays cost US the taxpayer £10,000 each year JUST to put up and take down! And that is done by Bradford Council, who are supposed to be the parent Council to Ilkley!! That is truly outragious!!
Isn't it about time that the christmas lights in Ilkley were given a REAL overhaul and made spectacular along the A65 at least to give the impression to any passing motorist/family/visi
tor that we ACTUALLY give a **** about our town?!?
As a retailer who relys heavily on passing trade, I for one would be more than happy to contribute to a fund for better displays.
Come on IPC, get your act together and stop patting yourselves on the back for a job done very badly indeed!
It was indeed very sad to hear of the death of one of this country's truly inspriational characters, but I'm certain Sir Jim would have approved of Matthew stepping into his shoes. Huge thanks must go out to independent retailer David Giddings who has worked tirelessly for many years behind the scenes of the christmas lights switch-on, often without deserved recognition for organising the famous names who come to switch on our towns lights for little or no monetary recompense. It is a very difficult task to find anyone in the public arena who will do this for a measly fee that is granted by Ilkley Parish Council from taxpayers money through our precept contributions. Mr Giddings wholly deserves our gratitude for making these celebrations a little more attractive. Thank you David. Having said that, I and many retailers throughout Ilkley are once again appalled at the inexcusable 'display' of lights across the town this year. As an independent retailer and resident of Ilkley, not only do I pay my council tax precept, but also I pay over £9000 per annum business rates to Bradford Council. And I am only 1 of over 100, many who pay MUCH more than I do!! Despite the un-recognised efforts of several Ilkley Parish ex-councillors to improve the lighting across our town in recent years, the displays each year are getting worse and worse, yet every year, the Parish Council extol the virtues of their organising the 'wonderful' display!! Wonderful it is not! Disappointing and sparse it is! Embarrassing too!! Count the number of lighting stanchions along Leeds Road from Ilkley Windows to the Brook Street junction and you will see my point! I counted 4 displays. This is our towns main focal display opportunity to attract and amaze passing tourists and potential customers for our dwindling economy! Dreadful and dreary!! Drive a few miles to Silsden or Burley in Wharfedale and see what these townsfolk have done to brighten up their main streets. They look FAR better than the Parish Councils attempts in our town and no doubt on a miniscule budget too! I have it on good authority from a council member in Ilkley that our so-called displays cost US the taxpayer £10,000 each year JUST to put up and take down! And that is done by Bradford Council, who are supposed to be the parent Council to Ilkley!! That is truly outragious!! Isn't it about time that the christmas lights in Ilkley were given a REAL overhaul and made spectacular along the A65 at least to give the impression to any passing motorist/family/visi tor that we ACTUALLY give a **** about our town?!? As a retailer who relys heavily on passing trade, I for one would be more than happy to contribute to a fund for better displays. Come on IPC, get your act together and stop patting yourselves on the back for a job done very badly indeed! olicanaman
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree