Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson to turn on seaside resort's Christmas lights

Ben Parkinson will turn on Bridlington's Christmas lights.
Ben Parkinson will turn on Bridlington's Christmas lights.

Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson has been chosen to turn on a Yorkshire seaside resort's Christmas lights.

The badly-injured Afghanistan hero will turn on the festive illuminations in Bridlington after being personally invited by the town's mayor.

Ben has been asked to push the switch and get Bridlington’s festive celebrations underway on Sunday, December 4.

Bridlington mayor Coun Liam Dealtry said: “I am not often lost for words but when I met Ben I was inspired.

“When you think what he has been through, to see he is still smiling is just fantastic."

Ben lost both his legs and suffered dozens of other injuries in September 2006 when his army vehicle was hit by a bomb in Helmand Province.

Since then, he has defied doctors, learning to walk and talk again and battling back from the brink of death as Britain's most seriously injured soldier.

Added the mayor: “I would rather have Ben switching the lights on in Bridlington than any movie star. In my mayoral year, this is a real honour for me.

"I am so chuffed that he has agreed to come. Even though he has been on TV and completed all these remarkable challenges, he is just a normal guy."

“I am usually loud and proud but now I am just humbled that he has agreed to come to join us.

“I know Ben was over the moon to be asked as well.”

The switch-on in Bridlington will be held in King Street, and the event begins at 1pm with live music, charity and food stalls and children’s rides.

The lights will go on at around 4.30pm, with Father Christmas helping Ben to do the honours.