Film crew defends portrayal of town

999: What's Your Emergency? is currently being broadcast on Channel 4 on Monday nights at 9pm.
999: What's Your Emergency? is currently being broadcast on Channel 4 on Monday nights at 9pm.
0
Have your say

FILM-makers today hit back at criticism of a controversial documentary series about Blackpool.

FILM-makers today hit back at criticism of a controversial documentary series about Blackpool.

Channel 4’s 999: What’s Your Emergency? programme has come under fire for portraying a detrimental image of the town which could potentially damage its tourism industry.

As The Gazette reported yesterday, Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said he would have stopped the show being filmed but did not have the power to do so.

But the show’s executive producer Guy Davies says he did not deliberately target the town’s deprived areas.

He said: “The series follows all the emergency services closely in their work.

“They are of course usually called out when things go wrong, or people find themselves in crisis, and inevitably this can often lead us to the darker side of life.

“But we didn’t deliberately target these kinds of situations.

“In all we shot we were led only by the daily workload of the excellent and hardworking police officers, paramedics and firefighters we were with over our filming period last autumn.

“Our ambition was to make a series of programmes that were about the emergency services, rather than a series about Blackpool itself.

“However the warmth and humour of the people in the town, we experienced while making the programmes is I hope, evident within the series, and the programmes yet to be broadcast.”

Hoteliers have been critical of the timing of the broadcast which comes in the middle of Illuminations season.

Karl Myhill, of Ashburton Road, North Shore, who works as a general manager in the hospitality industry, sparked an online debate when he posted a thread on Blackpool Council’s Facebook site which prompted 266 responses including the one from Coun Blackburn.

Mr Myhill said he had been overwhelmed by the response to his comments, which also included more than 1,000 people saying they “liked” it.

He added: “I think it’s fantastic so many people have a passion for Blackpool and love the town as much as I do. I find it hard to believe the council could not have had more say in the programme when our council tax goes towards supporting the fire and police services.”