Central: Comedy Carpet

Central: Comedy Carpet

Have you been to see the Comedy Carpet? It’s right against the seafront at Blackpool Tower Festival Headland. A huge art installation, it features the names, jokes, songs and comedy catchphrases from more than 1,000 of Britain’s best loved comedians.

The Comedy Carpet

The enormous piece of artwork forms the centrepiece of Tower Festival Headland. It’s the open public open space which hosts events like the Illuminations Switch On Festival and the Air Show.

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

The Comedy Carpet and Blackpool Tower Festival Headland

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Take a walk to the seafront and see which famous names you can find. There’s jokes from many famous names, like the late, great Les Dawson, Morecambe and Wise, Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper and many others. Spot comic performers and writers from the music halls and variety shows of the past, along with their modern counterparts and contemporary performers.

The letters vary from a few centimetres to almost a metre tall. A lot of it can even be read from the top of the Tower! We haven’t got much of a head for heights here at Visit Fylde Coast, so the first floor window is as good as we get 🙂

The Comedy Carpet, from the first floor of the Blackpool Tower
The Comedy Carpet, from the first floor of the Blackpool Tower

The Comedy Carpet is well worth a visit, any day of the week!

It’s a great backdrop for soaking up the sun! The Comedy Carpet is a lovely place to loiter on a nice day. Dawdle about, reading the comments and listening to the seaside squawk of the gulls.

Around the edge of the carpet are concrete benches and huge seating pebbles so you can take a pew and enjoy the view! The lighting columns incorporate the windbreaks used to provide a bit of shelter during big events. It’s a versatile and practical space. It’s well worth a look on any day of the week.

Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Seating and facilities at Blackpool Comedy Carpet

Catch endless sunsets over the sea at the end of clear, sunny days. In stormy weather you might see waves whipping over the top of the wall.

The Comedy Carpet has even got its own website. Find it at comedycarpet.com

Comedy Carpet at Blackpool Tower Festival Headland
Comedy Carpet at Blackpool Tower Festival Headland

It’s the site for lots of large and small events. Along with Switch On, Fireworks and many more, in July 2018 the magical Blackpool Tower Circus Parade arrived to celebrate 250 years of circus!

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

…and at any time of the year!

There’s no denying that Blackpool seafront is at its best in summer. But it’s just as lovely in winter, albeit it in a different way. Pick a dry, preferably sunny day, and go see for yourself. Perhaps best not to visit when it’s windy and raining. Unless you’re wearing waterproofs of course!

From here you can also watch the murmurations of starlings from autumn to spring. See them swooping and turning before roosting on the piers.

This video clip of the seafront and Comedy Carpet was taken on a glorious day in March. It pans across Tower Festival Headland, from Central to North Pier.

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

How’s the Comedy Carpet Made?

The Comedy Carpet on Blackpool seafront was a labour of love to create. In total, the project took five years to produce, from concept to completion.

Each letter is made individually from 30mm solid granite. The art installation includes a whopping 160,000 individually cut letters. They’re set into concrete and spell out the catch phrases, jokes and sayings which cover the history of comedy.

Have a look at this gallery of jokes and views. Which one is your favourite?

Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Comedy Carpet

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.

Designed by Gordon Young
Designed by Gordon Young

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. 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.

Ken Dodd opening the Comedy Carpet. Photo: David Hewitt
Ken Dodd opening the Comedy Carpet. Photo: David Hewitt
Blackpool Tower and the Comedy Carpet
Blackpool Tower and the Comedy Carpet

While you’re here…

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