Record-breaking year for King of Lights Karl

Karl Beetson pictured at his house on Torrington Road in Wellingborough which he has decorated in Christmas lights to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes

Karl Beetson pictured at his house on Torrington Road in Wellingborough which he has decorated in Christmas lights to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes

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Karl Beetson’s annual Christmas lights display at his home in Wellingborough broke records over the festive season, raising more than £2,700 for charity.

Karl decks out his home in Torrington Road in lights every Christmas and invites visitors to make donations for charity.

His efforts had raised about £800 in the display’s most successful year but this record was smashed in 2011 when the final amount totalled £2,748.

Karl’s efforts were boosted by an appearance on Channel 4 show King of Christmas Lights, which was watched by 2.3 million people, and other media appearances including an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live.

This year he chose to raise cash for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

He said: “It definitely was a record-breaker. Someone phoned directly to the charity and donated £200 after hearing me on 5 Live.

“I’m very pleased. People loved it. It was quite quiet up to the day after the documentary went on air and after that it was really busy.”

Karl held an official switch-on event for the display for the first time in 2011, which attracted between 80 and 100 visitors.

He said after the Channel 4 show aired, the number of daily visitors equalled the turn-out for the switch-on.

He said: “Even on Christmas Day night there were people outside. I don’t think that’s happened before.”

Karl is set to start work on his 2012 display in August but said he would start ordering some of the parts for it online as early as next month.

His 2011 display featured a penguin, a reindeer, Father Christmas and a polar bear which lip-synched and played musical instruments along to festive songs.

To make them he took the stuffing out of toys, built a skeleton inside each of them and programmed them so they moved and could sing and play along.

Karl said he hoped to put on a good show again this Christmas and was hoping to raise at least £1,000 for another good cause.