Sir David Attenborough at Crystal Palace digital light show

PUBLISHED: 16:24 19 April 2012 | UPDATED: 17:24 19 April 2012

The Crystal Palace light show. Photo by Alexa Jury.

The Crystal Palace light show. Photo by Alexa Jury.


Terrible weather did not deter the crowds as the sky around Crystal Palace’s iconic transmitter was lit up with 7.5 billion candlepower of energy-efficient lighting last night.

The spectacular show celebrated the switchover from analogue to digital television and guests at a private party at the foot of the towering structure included Sir David Attenborough, who pressed the button to start the display.

Sadly, incessant rain meant it had less impact than intended- as 200,000 watts of light beamed out across the capital were enveloped by low hanging cloud.

But hundreds of residents still turned out to see the show, from the highest point in London.

It heralded the end of 75-years of analogue television broadcasting in the region and other celebrity guests included Chris Evans, Professor Brian Cox and Greg Dyke.

Sir David Attenborough, said: “Thanks to public service broadcasting, for the past 75 years we could all take part in the most memorable moments in the UK’s history.

“Think about the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 or England winning the World Cup in 1966. Now with the switch to digital TV, we’re celebrating the start of a new, very exciting time in UK broadcasting when viewers will have more channels to choose from and a better viewing experience than ever before.

“This is as wonderful as anything I’ve experienced in my 60 years of working in the TV industry.”

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