Central: Comedy Carpet

Central: Comedy Carpet

Have a look at the Comedy Carpet, it’s right against the seafront at Blackpool Tower Festival Headland.

A huge piece of art installation, the Comedy Carpet features the names, jokes, songs and comedy catchphrases from more than 1,000 of Britain’s best loved comedians.

This video clip pans across Tower Festival Headland, looking from Central to North Pier, looking over the Comedy Carpet.

Blackpool seafront, Pier to Pier - Blackpool Seafront in March 2015

Opening of the Comedy Carpet

Sir Ken Dodd had the honour of performing the grand opening ceremony at 12.30pm on a damp and drizzly 10 October, back in 2011.

Ken Dodd opening the Comedy Carpet. Photo: David Hewitt
Ken Dodd opening the Comedy Carpet. Photo: David Hewitt

A firm Blackpool favourite and long time performer in the seaside resort, Doddy’s jokes feature in one of the five sections in the centre of the carpet. You’ll also find jokes from the great Les Dawson, Morecambe and Wise, Frankie Howerd and Tommy Cooper.

The Comedy Carpet, Blackpool Tower Festival Headland
The Comedy Carpet, Blackpool Tower Festival Headland

Comic performers and writers from the music halls and variety shows of the past are included, along with their modern counterparts and contemporary performers.

A Labour of Love

The project took five years from concept to completion, with a whopping 160,000 individually cut letters set into concrete and used to spell out the phrases.

Each letter is 30mm solid granite and they vary from a few centimetres to almost a metre tall. A lot of it can even be read from the top of the Tower!

Blackpool Tower and the Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Tower and the Comedy Carpet

The Comedy Carpet is laid out in a cross shape, to link the beach and road, north and south promenades. It’s laid out in a grid of 10 slabs.

A large carpet indeed, it covers a whopping 2,200 sq metres. It was built at a cost of £2.6m and was funded by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) as part of the Sea Change programme.

Gordon Young designed the Carpet. During his research he decided that Blackpool was the nation’s ‘magnetic chuckle point’ because of the number and breadth of comedians who’ve performed at the resort over the years.

Comedy Carpet on Central Promenade

The Comedy Carpet forms the centre of the Tower Festival Headland. That’s the open public open space which hosts events like the Illuminations Switch On Festival and the Air Show. In July 2018 the magical Blackpool Tower Circus Parade arrived here to celebrate 250 years of circus!

Blackpool Tower Circus Parade
Circus Parade in 2018 at the Comedy Carpet. Photo: Kate Yates

Well Worth a Visit, any day of the Week!

Around the edge of the carpet are concrete benches, huge seating pebbles and lighting columns. These incorporate the windbreaks that you can see in the Circus Parade photo.

It’s a versatile and practical space, and it’s well worth a look, on any day of the week.

From here you can watch the murmurations of starlings as they roost on the piers from autumn to spring. Watch endless sunsets over the sea at the end of clear, sunny days. Of course in stormy weather you might even see the waves whipping over the top of the wall!

You can find out more about the Comedy Carpet from its own website.

Find out More

Have a look at the Live Blackpool website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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