Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Plug pulled on Geldof switch-on

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof is said to be making a message to be played at the switch-on

Bob Geldof has pulled out of switching on Christmas lights in a town he is claimed to have called ugly.

Mr Geldof has another commitment on 29 November and was said to be very disappointed that he could not attend the switch on in Margate.

Earlier this year he was criticised after a Sunday newspaper reported that he said the town was ugly.

The lights will now be switched on by Ben Mills from the X Factor and actor Mark Arden.

A spokesman for the Live Aid founder said: "Sir Bob has been informed that he must attend a political arrangement in Doha on the 29th November."

The Mayor of Margate, councillor Brian Sullivan, said: " We are all, of course, very sorry that Sir Bob is unable to join us, but let's not forget that the event is about Margate, the town and the people and the new lights will still be switched on with all of the activities."

Mr Sullivan said Mr Geldof was making a recorded message to be played during the evening, and there were plans for him to visit regeneration projects in Margate in the new year.

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