Showbiz singing legend Dame Shirley Bassey is coming to the coast for this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing extravaganza.
The Goldfinger super star will be on the Golden Mile as part of the hit BBC1 show’s seaside jaunt - with shows filmed at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday and Sunday.
Dame Shirley confirmed her trip to Blackpool during an appearance on the Graham Norton Show on Friday night, promising something special for fans, in celebration of 50 years since the release of James Bond film Goldfinger, for which she sang the theme tune.
Also taking to the stage will be boyband supergroup McBusted, marking a return to the venue’s hallowed dance floor for McFly drummer Harry Judd - who won the 2011 series in a Blackpool final with dancer Aliona Vilani.
The dancers’ line up for the broadcast was confirmed on Sunday night, with celebrities taking to Twitter to celebrate their successes and thank fans for voting.
It’s a case of The Only Way Is Blackpool for Essex DJ Mark Wright, who said: “Thank you so much guys, it means the world to me that you vote for me it really does. I never believed I would make it this far #itsadream.”
After an emotional night, The Saturday’s singer Frankie Bridge said: “I was so shocked and relieved to get through this week. Thank you so much for voting for us guys! Cannot believe we’ve made it to Blackpool!”
And TV presenter Caroline Flack was another emotional contestant, after winning the judges’ votes in Sunday’s dance off - seeing This Morning presenter Alison Hammond eliminated from the show.
Caroline wrote: “Arrrrrrrrggggghhhhh. That was hard. Thank you for so much support..... Blackpool here we come.. and this time ... We JIVE xxxx.”
Speaking to The Gazette ahead of the weekend’s dancing, tennis coach - and mum of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray - Judy Murray and her professional dancer Anton Du Beke revealed they would be dancing the Viennese waltz in Blackpool.
“Every week is a different challenge,” Judy said.
“We did the waltz in the very first week, to Mull Of Kintyre, and it took me forever to learn. Now, a few weeks in, I’m a bit quicker at picking up steps so hopefully will be able to do it better.”
Judy has also faced the challenge of learning to perform to an audience and adapting to being ‘on stage’ as part of the show - with The Tower ballroom a new space to conquer.
“All week, you are training in an empty dance studio,” she said. “There’s nothing there and then you come out on Saturday with props, costumes, the band, judges, the audience, lighting, cameras and so many distractions which all take some getting used to.
“You get three shots on the studio floor each Friday and I find it really difficult and it all throws me.
“The whole thing of performing and putting on an act is not my world at all and I’ve seen from the others how important it is to make it entertaining. I have tried hard with that side of it, even if it feels odd, I can see how much difference it makes.
“Blackpool Tower ballroom will be something completely different again. It’s just another new experience and you have to see these as great opportunities.”
Also travelling north for the show are Blue singer Simon Webbe, EastEnders actor Jake Wood, pop star Pixie Lott, Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker and wildlife expert and presenter Steve Backshall.