Strictly snub as dance show rules out Blackpool Tower special

Bye bye Blackpool: Strictly Come Dancing won't include a special show from the town this year
Bye bye Blackpool: Strictly Come Dancing won't include a special show from the town this year©BBC

Strictly Come Dancing bosses will snub Blackpool this year, after it was announced the new series won’t feature a dance special from the Lancashire town.

For the last three years viewers have tuned in to see special episodes filmed live from the world famous Blackpool Tower, where Strictly’s predecessor show, Come Dancing, was largely shot.

Viewers watched last year as McFly drummer Harry Judd was crowned the winner of the 2011 series during the grand finale, beating Waterloo Road actress Chelsee Healey to the glitterball trophy.

But TV bosses have pulled the plug on the special on-location show, saying the costs are too great and it is a “mammoth logistical exercise”  to move to Blackpool for just one night - despite the fact the town is often dubbed the “mecca of dance”.  

Show sources have said that the resources saved as a result will be put into “other areas of the show”.

It is expected the hit celebrity dance programme will now be filmed entirely in a London studio.

The news is a huge blow to Blackpool, with tourism bosses previously predicting the show’s relocation there created more than £20m of prime time exposure for the holiday resort.

In a joint statement a spokesman for Blackpool Tower, Marketing Blackpool and Blackpool Council said: “It is obviously a huge disappointment to learn the programme will not be returning this year, not just to us but the many thousands of ballroom fans who love to see Strictly in Blackpool each year.

“We appreciate all the efforts made by the BBC in bringing the programme to Blackpool in previous years and working with us to try to find a solution for 2013.”

The statement continued: “Everyone knows Blackpool is the home of ballroom and a mecca for dance and we will look forward to making a positive announcement in the future.”

A spokesman for the BBC told the Blackpool Gazette: “Strictly has enjoyed a fabulous relationship with Blackpool over the years but it’s a mammoth logistical exercise and on this occasion the decision has been taken to put resources into other areas of the show.

“Though we’re sad not to be going to Blackpool, it’s not to say we won’t return in the future.”

Strictly Come Dancing will return to TV later this year. Rumoured celebrity contestants are said to include brodcaster Chris Evans, Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, former This Morning presenter Fern Britton, Westlife singer Nicky Byrne, and former X Factor judge Dannii Minogue.

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