One of Blackpool’s best known and loved acts is back in town for one night only later this month.
Betty Legs Diamond was one of the founders of the now legendary club Funny Girls – celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – but quit the venue and the North West for Newcastle in 2010.
She returns on Monday, July 28, bringing her latest show to Viva Blackpool, in Church Street for a one-off special performance although both Simon Green – the dancer, choreographer and performer behind Betty – and the team at Viva hope there will be more to come.
Plotting routines and planning the show at Viva yesterday, Simon said: “It has been four years since I left, but I was here for a long time before that.
“I got to know a lot of people; I have a lot of friends and fans still around who aren’t able to come and see the show at Boulevard in Newcastle, so they are always asking when are you coming back, when can we see you.”
Simon’s promising plenty of old favourites, many with a new twist, as well as completely new elements to the show. The team from Newcastle will be joining him on the Viva stage, with compere and DJ Miss Rory running the show – which features Broadway dancers, ‘stunning costumes, hilarious comedy and fabulous dance routines’ – to create a ‘spectacular extravaganza’.
“I don’t want to spoil the surprise for the audience,” he said. “But I would say you will see your old favourites reworked, and Rory is great – he’s the glue holding everything together and keeps me under control.
“But like if you go to see Shirley Bassey, and she didn’t sing Goldfinger and Big Spender, I’m not going to disappoint anyone.”
After four years away, Simon’s happy to be back – and to see the welcome changes in the town.
“The town has changed in that time and it’s nice to see investment, eventually,” he said. “It had been left to rack and ruin.
“They were starting the prom when I left but the Comedy Carpet and area round the station is great now.
“They are taking it back to a more wholesome resort.
“I was sad to see the 999: What’s Your Emergency? TV show put the town in such a bad light – it was meant to only show the bad points and not some of the happy ending stories. It’s not all drug addicts, fighting and drunks.”
Viva directors Martin Heywood and Leye D Johns are looking forward to bringing Betty back, after initially making contact for the Pride festival this year.
“The Monday night show with Betty will fit in with her residency in Newcastle and shows in London, and won’t clash with Funny Girls as they’re shut then,” Martin said.
“It’s sold really well so far; people are looking forward to seeing Betty again and they’re ready for the original Funny Girl to be back in Blackpool.”
n The Betty Legs Diamond Show, Viva Blackpool, Monday, July 28, doors 6pm, show 7.30pm. Tickets from £12.90 for adults and £5.50 for under 16s, for details visitblackpoolviva.com or call on 01253 297297.