Blackpool holds a unique place in the affections of generations of British holiday-makers and fun-seekers. As well as its sandy beaches, piers, amusement parks and pleasure beaches, it has many extraordinary buildings devoted to entertainment and show business, including the Grand Theatre, the Winter Gardens and the Blackpool Tower. Connecting these places together is the promenade known as the Golden Mile which stretches the length of the town.
As part of the council’s plans to regenerate the town and carry out necessary sea defence works, the entire length has been re-landscaped and three new headlands built. Created as a key work of art for the central headland, the Comedy Carpet will also be a stage for performances and events.
Designed in a cross shape, the carpet links the entrance of the Blackpool Tower to the beach and connects the north and south sides of the promenade. Laid out in a grid pattern in strips of 10 slabs each, the work can be read in different directions, from close up and from the top of the tower, with the font varying in size from a few centimetres to over a metre.
On the carpet, you will find jokes, songs and catchphrases from comedians and comedy writers representing every style from variety to stand-up, from radio to film, from music hall to TV. The central square is dedicated to some of the most significant comedians of all time: Morecambe and Wise, Ken Dodd, Les Dawson, Frankie Howerd and Tommy Cooper.
The southern square celebrates contemporary comedians, famous double acts, television and radio programmes and includes one that showcases Barry Humphries, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, and Peter Kay.
The northern square (nearest the new Festival House) includes a strip dedicated to Monty Python and one to The Two Ronnies. Regional and international comedians are showcased in this section as well as celebrated catch phrases and a pre-war historical section.
On the western square (nearest the sea) are strips dedicated to Billy Connolly, Peter Cook and Victoria Wood along with more television references, further celebrated catchphrases and recent history. Around the edge of the carpet are the names of over 1,000 comedians, writers, double acts and groups that have graced the stage in Blackpool over the last 100 years or who are of national significance.