PREPARATIONS are under way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Blackburn's King George's Hall in October.

Organisers hope to get messages of congratulation from some of the big names who have played there from Paul McCartney and Paul Weller to comedian John Bishop.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leisure boss Cllr Damian Talbot hopes to have a major gathering at the hall to celebrate the centenary of its official opening on October 21, 1921.

He give a preview of possible events at Thursday's Council Forum held in King George's recently redecorated main auditorium.

Cllr Talbot said: "We are so lucky to have this iconic venue and be here tonight. It is a fantastic building.

"Most of us here tonight have great memories of coming to King George's as do most of the people of the borough and wider East Lancashire.

"The Beatles played here in 1963 so how lucky are we to be in the same room?

"During the week of the anniversary itself a range of celebration events are being planned, including a performance by The Halle who gave the opening concert.

"The oral history project, Walls Have Ears, is well underway and will form the basis of a physical exhibition at King George's Hall during Heritage Open Week.

"The autumn season is packed with TV comedians such as Jimmy Carr, Suzi Ruffell and Jason Manford along with concerts by The South, Alexander O’Neal and Boyslife."

Cllr Talbot said afterwards: "I am pretty passionate about this.

"It's foundation stone was laid by King George V in 1913 but the First World War intervened.

"It the largest concert venue Lancashire and the only one to have regular classical performances.

"So many iconic acts have played there from The Beatles and David Bowie to The Jam and The Clash not to mention many top comedians.

"I hope to get messages for the anniversary from people like Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and John Bishop about playing the hall, how great it was and how good that it is still going.

"I’m very keen on is celebrating all the big names that have performed at KGH, and the iconic role the venue has played in Blackburn’s history over the past century.

"I’m sure virtually every resident in the town has been at one point or other in their life – whether that’s for the annual pantomime, pop performances, comedy, classical, school singing concerts, the famous soul nights, Club Tropicana, or public meetings.

"We hope to have a big celebration gathering on its actual 100th birthday.

"For me KGH means something to everyone in Blackburn and further afield, and is a source of countless happy memories."