Longleat Festival of Light on Blue Peter


Longleat’s Festival of Light is set to have a starring role on CBBC’s Blue Peter Christmas special on Thursday 18th December.

The popular children’s programme followed the build process for the spectacular illuminations which are spread over 30-acres of the Wiltshire attraction.

During filming presenter Lindsey Russell helped out with a number of the structures including helping to place tiny bottles filled with coloured liquid in to the mythical qilin creatures, laying out some of the thousands of porcelain plates for the giant dragon and lowering the final section of the 20-metre-tall Temple of Heaven in place.

She then returned to lead a special ‘Blue Peter switch on’ with the help of local school children and a Girl Guide group.

“Lindsey really got involved in the build process and seemed to have a great time,” said Longleat’s Steve Mytton.

“The team even created their very own illuminated Blue Peter badge which features in the show,” he added.

A total of around 7,000 individual lanterns, 15km of silk and a dazzling 40km of LED lights have been used to create 20 different scenes.

The highlights of the spectacular event include the 70m long dragon made up of 23,000 lit porcelain cups, bowls and plates and mythical creatures called ‘qilin’, which are each made from over 65,000 glass phials filled with coloured liquid.

The outdoor extravaganza also features a 20m tall Chinese temple, huge traditional Chinese masks, a family of life-size pandas in a bamboo forest, elephants and other animals including zebras, lions, flamingos, crocodiles, giant frogs on lily pads and giraffe.

In total, 30 tonnes of steel has been used to build the frames for the illuminated structures.

A team of 100 highly-skilled craftsmen from the village of Zigong in China’s Sichuan province spent six months creating the structures which will remain at Longleat until January 4th.

Blue Peter, featuring the Festival of Light is to be transmitted at 5:30pm on Thursday 18th December on the CBBC channel.

View photos of longleat Festival of Light