A MUSICIAN from East Lancashire will perform in front of the biggest crowd of his life tonight when he plays at the switch-on of the Blackpool Illuminations.

Stephen Reid will be playing guitar and supporting former EastEnders actress Melissa Suffield as she sings in front of the estimated 10,000 crowd at the seaside resort’s biggest event of the year.

Melissa, 21, who used to play teenage tearaway Lucy Beale in the soap, is trying to launch a singing career, and her promoters have asked Burnley-based Stephen, who runs Doc Red Eye promotions, to help out.

He said: “I’ve been looking to get back into performing and producing so this is ideal, it is the biggest crowd I’ll have ever played in front of.

“We’ve done a couple of rehearsals in Burnley and she has a really nice voice. She has got a song she wants to get out called Little Secret and we will be performing a couple of other songs as well.

“The song is really quirky and I think it could do well, it sounds great.

“It’s a good way for me to get back into the industry, what I really want to do is be producing music for TV and films.”

Stephen, who owns the Kettledrum pub, in Cliviger, has recently been lecturing music students at UCLan, in Burnley.

“I’m looking to cut back some of that,” he said, “so I can concentrate more on my music.

“We’ve got UB40 coming to Burnley next month and I’ve done a lot of the work in putting that on and getting everything ready for it.”

The event gets under way at 4.30pm with the lights being switched on at 9.15pm by Bolton comedian Peter Kay.