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Lights out - Piccadilly Circus kills its world-famous advertising screens for the first time since WWII

The last time the lights were dimmed, barring power cuts, was 1949.

PA-29749036 General view of the advertising screens in Piccadilly Circus, London, which have been switched off for the first time in over half a century Source: Empics Entertainment

THE ICONIC LIGHTS that illuminate London’s Piccadilly Circus have been turned off for renovations, the first time since World War II they have gone dark, except for power cuts and funerals.

The world famous advertising lights in the centre of the UK capital have displayed illuminated advertisements for more than a century, but will not be switched on again until autumn 2017, when a new permanent single screen will be unveiled in place of the current six screens.

A temporary advertising banner will replace the screens.

The new screen will flash advertisements to the 100 million people who are estimated to pass by each year as well as news, sport and weather updates.

Piccadilly Lights The lights, in full illumination, in November 2014 Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The last time the lights went out for a lengthy spell was in 1939, when cities turned off their lights during the war. They were not switched back on until 1949.

They have since been turned off during the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana and for environmental campaigns, while also suffering the occasional power cut.

Perrier was the first brand to appear in lights on Piccadilly Circus in 1908, while Coca-Cola has been a fixture on the corner of Regent Street and Piccadilly since 1954.

© – AFP, 2017

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