Strictly keeps dancing into resort

New Strictly judge Shirley Ballas
New Strictly judge Shirley Ballas
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Polish up your glitterballs and straighten those tails - Strictly Come Dancing is coming back to Blackpool.

The show has confirmed its spectacular annual visit to the Tower Ballroom will take place this year as the public ticket ballot opens.

Alexandra Burke is one of the stars competing in Strictly Come Dancing 2017. She's currently in Sister Act at the Opera House in Blackpool - will she be back in November

Alexandra Burke is one of the stars competing in Strictly Come Dancing 2017. She's currently in Sister Act at the Opera House in Blackpool - will she be back in November

The celebrities and their professional dance partners will be tripping the light fantastic in the resort on Saturday, November 18.

General manager of Blackpool Tower Kenny Mew said the venue was looking forward to welcoming the show with open arms.

"It's amazing for the resort that the BBC chooses to bring it's flagship prime time Saturday night show to the town," he said.

"Everyone gets excited not just at the Tower but across the whole resort, and we've never failed to deliver an amazing experience for the contestants and everyone involved."

The cast of Strictly Come Dancing hit the famous dance floor of the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool

The cast of Strictly Come Dancing hit the famous dance floor of the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool

President of hoteliers' group Stay Blackpool Claire Smith said the show's return was 'marvellous' news for the town.

"It's probably the best publicity we get all year and I imagine it costs us nothing," she said. "The number of people who watch the show is to high, and then they really build it up in the weeks before with the contestants 'wanting to get to Blackpool' - it makes Blackpool an aspirational place.

"We don't necessarily see a spike in enquiries immediately after the broadcast, but it's a year-round interest, people very much come to Blackpool and have the Tower Ballroom on their schedule."

Among the celebrities hoping to head north for the dazzling special - always a landmark date in the series' calendar - is Manchester-based chef and Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer, whose co-host Tim Lovejoy has cheekily challenge to reach the Blackpool round of the contest.

And star of Sister Act running at the Opera House Alexandra Burke is already hotly tipped for a shot at the glitterball winner's trophy.

New head judge Shirley Ballas will make her first Strictly trip to Blackpool, but she's been a regular in the resort for many years with the Blackpool Dance Festival.

Last year's Blackpool broadcast was marred when professional Gorka Marquez claimed he was the victim of an unprovoked attack after the show - but police dropped their investigation a month later when they found no evidence, and the dancer failed to officially report the incident to them.