The Iconic advertising billboard screens in Piccadilly Circus, have today been switched off, to make way for renovations. This will be the longest time that they have been turned off since the Blitz.
The tourist hotspot which has been overlooked by six illuminated boards, advertising some of the world’s biggest companies, will be replaced with one ultra-high definition curved screen. The billboards were switched off at 8.30am this morning in order for the renovation to take place. A temporary banner will replace the lights until the new single screen is unveiled in the autumn.
This marks the first time the boards have gone dark for an extended period of time since 1949. They have been almost constantly illuminated since the second world war, except being turned off during Winston Churchill’s and Princess Diana’s funerals, as a mark of respect.
Ros Morgan, chief executive of the Heart of London business alliance, told the BBC the new screen would “bring visitors an enhanced entertainment experience”.
The revamped interactive billboard will be Europe’s largest single screen and it will be shared by six advertisers including Coca-Cola and Samsung. It will also be able to provide live video streaming and give updates about events such as sport results and the weather. More than 70 million pedestrians walk by the Piccadilly Lights each year, with another 30 million driving past, so this is a great advertisement spot for companies.