A towering success

Harry Judd on his way to the Strictly title
Harry Judd on his way to the Strictly title
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BOSSES at the BBC today strongly hinted it show Strictly Come Dancing will return to the resort next year.

Following the huge success of Saturday’s final – beamed live from the Tower Ballroom – a spokesman for the corporation said there is “certainly no reason why we shouldn’t be back.”

Strictly Come Dancing runner-up Chelsee Healey backs Blackpool.

Strictly Come Dancing runner-up Chelsee Healey backs Blackpool.

Around 12 million viewers tuned into see McFly drummer Harry Judd and his partner Aliona Vilani clinch the prestigious glitterball trophy, beating off competition from Chelsee Healey and Jason Donovan.

A spokesman for the BBC said: “The ballroom looked fantastic and it was a great location for us to end the series in.

“It really added to the sense of spectacle and we were all delighted to be back in Blackpool. It all went really well.

“We won’t start thinking about decisions for the next series until next year but certainly there is no reason why we wouldn’t be back.”

Saturday was the second time the Tower Ballroom has hosted the final, and in recent years it has been the location for the mid-series show.

Tourism bosses in Blackpool have already said they would like to see the show return, and will take part in discussions with the BBC.

Runner-up Chelsee Healey demonstrated her support for the resort during rehearsals when she was presented with an ‘I Love Blackpool’ sweatshirt by Marketing Blackpool.

But plans for the contestants to step out onto the Comedy Carpet were scuppered by the weather.

A spokesman for Marketing Blackpool said: “We had hoped to get the contestants to do a twirl on the Comedy Carpet but because of the weather, there were fears they could trip up and injure themselves.

“However we presented Chelsee with one of our sweatshirts and she was delighted with that.”

Other businesses in the town also benefited from the influx of celebrities and BBC staff for the show.

The Buca di Beppo italian restaurant at the De Vere Hotel hosted a dinner for the celebrities and dancers on Friday ahead of the final, while Toast on Corporation Street was chosen to carry out the catering for the BBC inside the Tower.

Toast co-owner Mike Gibson said: “We produced about 1,300 meals over the two days for the 300 BBC personnel who were here, the dancers and the contestants.

“The BBC told us it was the best outside catering they had during the series.

“Then on Sunday Russell Grant came into Toast for his breakfast.”

The show’s audience travelled from all over the country with many staying over in resort hotels.

It was also broadcast in 3D for the first time in its history, with cinemas around the country hosting special showings for fans.