IT WAS the fly-on-the-wall show which thrust Blackpool’s emergency services into the spotlight.
But today it has been confirmed the TV cameras will not be returning the resort for a second series of 999 What’s Your Emergency? - to the delight of some in the tourism industry.
The Channel Four series, which saw TV cameras follow the resort’s police, fire and ambulance crews 24 hours-a-day, was widely praised for showing the difficult job faced by the emergency services, but slammed by hoteliers for showing the town in a negative light.
Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool, said: “I’m absolutely pleased it’s not coming back.
“It’s a difficult one because I actually thought the programme needed to be shown because I do think that people need to understand the difficulties our emergency services are having, they should not be dealing with a lot of the issues they are dealing with.
“But my argument was they should not have done it in a town whose main economy is visitor economy.”
The show proved a ratings hit, attracting around 2.4m viewers an episode during its 10-week prime-time run.
But Pat Francioni, from the Alumhurst Hotel, on Charnley Road, said: “I’m absolutely delighted it’s not coming back.
“If it had been more rounded on Blackpool it would have been an excellent show but it concentrated far too much on the drunks and drugs.
“I’ve had so many comments from guests saying if they didn’t know Blackpool as well as they do they would not come anywhere near it.”
There was also controversy after Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said on Facebook he would not have allowed the programme to be filmed in the resort if he had been given the choice.
Iain Hawkins, Head of Merlin Entertainments Blackpool, said: “For Blackpool this is good news as the series was damaging to the resort as a whole. It provided no support for all the good going on in the town regarding its renaissance; instead it purely focused on the negatives. For Merlin in Blackpool, the use of attractions such as The Blackpool Tower as backdrop for shots alongside negative images was damaging to our appeal to visitors. I fully understand the need to show the amazing work the emergency services carry out but this was always the wrong format.”
But Lancashire Police said its staff received a lot of positive comments about the series, and the force is looking to work with the production company to produce a second series elsewhere in the county.
A spokesman said: “We believe the series was very positive and portrayed the challenging work our police officers and staff do every day, often in difficult circumstances. Officers and staff were shown to do their job with good humour and professionalism and the positive comments and feedback we received far outweighed any negative reaction.
“The series was seen through the eyes of the emergency services working in Blackpool and the issues featured apply equally to towns and cities up and down Britain.
“Discussions are on-going with the production company around a second series elsewhere in Lancashire.”
Blackpool Council declined to comment on the second series decision.