Blackpool Comedy Carpet was officially opened in October 2011 by the comedian Ken Dodd and it represents another stage of the major renovation work that is taking place in the resort. The carpet is constructed in cobalt blue concrete and red and black granite, and has over one hundred and sixty thousand letters engraved on it. These spell out the names of over a thousand people associated with comedy from theatre, television and radio including performers, writers and comedians, from the days of music hall to modern times. The carpet features jokes, songs and catchphrases. Some of the letters are just a few centimetres in size and others are nearly a metre high, and the larger words are visible from the top of the tower. The work was created by the artist Gordon Young who also undertook the design of the 20 metre high sculptural climbing towers that people see when they enter Blackpool from the m55. The comedy carpet took five years to complete and Gordon Young carried out the work in association with the design agency Why Not Associates. It is one of the biggest public art projects that have ever been commissioned in Britain. The carpet is 1880 square meters in size and it has the appearance of a music hall poster. It is located on the new Tower Festival Headland opposite Blackpool tower. The headland will have an open air events space for an audience of up to twenty thousand people and the comedy carpet forms a footpath extending from the tower entrance onto the festival headland, which will also have a wedding venue and café restaurant. The comedy carpet’s effectiveness as public art has been compared to the sculpture the Angel of the North in Gateshead and it has also drawn comparisons with the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The middle of the comedy carpet has five sections dedicated to Les Dawson, Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper, Morecambe and Wise, and Ken Dodd. Along the outside of the carpet are the names of comedy writers and performers going back to the time of music hall and variety shows ranging all the way to present day comedians. The comedy carpet was commissioned by Blackpool council with part of a grant of 4 million pounds from the sea change programme of the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment.
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