STRICTLY Come Dancing judge Bruno Tanioli has hit out at Blackpool describing it as full of drunks ahead of the hit TV show’s live programme from Tower Ballroom.
While admitting he had never spent time out and about in Blackpool, the 55-year-old told a magazine he had seen “programmes of people falling about the streets”.
This December the hit show returns to the resort’s Tower Ballroom – which will host its final for the first time since 2002.
The dance expert added that the Pleasure Beach is “Strictly for The Inbetweeners” referring to the programme about a group of hapless school friends struggling through the pitfalls of adolescence.
Today, Blackpool Council’s tourism chief accused Tanioli of being “naive” if he believed everything he saw on television.
Natalie Wyatt, head of VisitBlackpool, said: “Blackpool loves Strictly Come Dancing and is delighted to be hosting this year’s final.
“We understand the celebrities themselves aim to reach Blackpool each year because of our wonderful ballroom and affiliation to dance.
“It’s unfortunate Mr. Tonioli, a ‘judge’ on one of the most popular TV shows, has made a judgement about one of our most popular attractions without having experienced it for himself.
“The Pleasure Beach has this year invested over £10m in a new Nickelodeon theme park, the only one of its kind in the UK.
“I cannot, understand how somebody in Mr Tonioli’s position would be so naive as to believe everything he sees on television.”
And the tourism chief challenged the outspoken judge to meet her when he is in town and she would show him the best the resort has to offer.
She added: “I’d welcome the opportunity for Mr Tonioli to spend some time with me here in Blackpool visiting the attractions and businesses so he can make an informed judgement.”
Kate Shane, general manager of Blackpool Tower, said: “We have no doubt both contestants and judges will love the work which has been done in the Tower and our new attractions.
“We’re particularly looking forward to showing Bruno the Blackpool Tower Dungeon.”