Millions of people tuned in and saw the “perfect” advert for Blackpool when hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing took over the Tower Ballroom, business leaders today said.
There was plenty of glitz and glamour as the likes of Pixie Lott, Caroline Flack and Mark Wright took to the dancefloor on Saturday night.
The live broadcast brought in the highest average viewing figures of the series, with 10.3 million people tuning in.
Town hall chiefs and the resort’s businesses alike were delighted with the way the programme portrayed Blackpool.
The Tower’s general manager Kate Shane said: “It was just fantastic for The Tower and the resort as a whole for, in my opinion, the best show on the BBC to endorse the Tower by coming and having a live episode here.
“Blackpool sometimes gets kicked but for them to do that was amazing – I couldn’t hope for more.
“Even the clips they show before the dances showed them on the pier or with the donkeys, showing it’s the place for fun and great times – it was just perfect.”
And although nothing has yet been confirmed, she said she would love to see the show return next year.
“We had a debrief with the production team and they were very positive and happy,” she added.
“One of them said in all the years she has worked in television, it was her proudest moment and the best piece of TV she has worked on. The atmosphere in the room, even between takes, was just electric.”
The hour-and-a-half live show was broadcast on Saturday night, before an eviction show – also at The Tower – on Sunday.
Hugh Evans, of the Lancashire North and Western Chamber of Commerce, said: “Shows like this, particularly in the iconic Tower Ballroom, are always great publicity for Blackpool and it’s good to put it on the map in front of an audience of millions. It would have blown the tourism budget to buy publicity like that.
“Now we need to capitalise on it and get people watching from the comfort of their sofas to come and see the resort for themselves.”
Wesley Holden, manager at Rumours nightclub, where the stars were snapped partying after the show, said the publicity was great for business. He said: “They had a really good time and the staff worked hard on it. We were still open to the public but we gave them half the club.”
Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “As always Strictly Come Dancing has been a magnificent advert for Blackpool.
“The whole of the country has had a chance to hear all about the very best of our town. It really is a pleasure to have Strictly here and welcome them to the home of ballroom dancing, the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.”