THE man who plays Britain's biggest telly addict has backed the Lancashire Telegraph's campaign urging people to turn off electrical stand-by buttons.

Actor Ricky Tomlinson, Jim Royle in BBC1's The Royle Family, said people need to "do themselves a favour" and make sure appliances are turned off at the wall over night.

Backing our Turn It Off Campaign, he said: "It's not often that I'm serious but on this occasion I've got to be serious.

"Over Christmas everybody likes to have a good time and have a few drinks but sometimes we get a bit forgetful. Don't leave things switched on, that means the television or the Christmas tree, it could be life threatening. You might think it's okay but it isn't.

"Do yourself a favour and switch off at the mains before going to bed."

Firefighters have warned home-owners that essential electrical appliances which are on 24-hours a day could kill them if they are not regularly serviced.

The Lancashire Telegraph launched its Turn It Off campaign to encourage people to save lives, save energy and save money by not leaving appliances switched on and unattended or on standby.

The campaign was backed by MPs and fire crews and highlighted the fire risks, with 2,414 fires across the county started by electrical appliances since 2003.

Fire crews have said things like fridges and freezers - which are in constant use - must be serviced and used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to stop them malfunctioning.

Our campaign was launched after a fire started by a TV which was left on stand-by ripped through a family's Blackburn home while they slept last month.

Watch manager Andy Barnes from Blackburn fire station said: "The message from the fire service is to switch everything off at the plug. But for things like fridges and freezers we would recommend that they are regularly serviced as they cannot be switched off."

Figures for 2004 showed that 34 per cent of non-fatal house fire injuries in Lancashire were the result of electrical appliance fires.