Crystal Palace Tower light show to mark digital switchover

The iconic Crystal Palace broadcast tower will host a spectacular lightshow to mark the switch from analogue to digital TV services in London on 18 April at 9.15pm.

Crystal Palace tower to light up on 18 April
Crystal Palace tower to light up on 18 April

Broadcast transmission company Arqiva, which has engineered the UK’s digital switchover, is installing more than six tonnes of lighting equipment on the tower in readiness for the show.

More than 200,000 watts of energy-efficient lighting – the same wattage used to light the Eiffel Tower in Paris – will illuminate the 219m tall structure.

The show will culminate with a beam of light shooting up the tower and radiating out over London, representing the invisible digital TV signals.
 
Arqiva is also hosting a VIP event at the foot of the tower to mark the switchover. Hosted by BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, the event will feature a rare appearance from Sir David Attenborough, who is celebrating his 60th year in broadcasting and will talk about the evolution of broadcasting during his lifetime.

Evans said: "Everyone knows about the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but this year also sees the completion of the largest broadcast engineering project ever seen in the UK. The switchover to digital TV is a momentous step for the broadcast industry.

"The Crystal Palace transmitter is an iconic landmark. Lighting it up is a fitting tribute to the success of public service broadcasting over the last 75 years and a celebration I’m proud to be part of."
 
Attenborough said that public service broadcasting has meant for the past 75 years we’ve all been able to take part in the most memorable moments in UK history. "Think about the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 or England winning the World Cup in 1966," he said. "Now with the switch to digital TV, we’re celebrating the start of a new, very exciting time in UK broadcasting."

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