Shot at fame could be a reality

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Would-be reality TV stars have put themselves forward to appear in a new show about Blackpool.

Performer Liam Halewood hopes to find a new generation of inspiring role models to feature in his pilot reality show promoting the resort.

Liam Halewood runs the casting for his reality TV show pilot

Liam Halewood runs the casting for his reality TV show pilot

The ‘scripted reality’ show, similar to hits such as The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea, aims to feature young success stories from business, entertainment and other realms to showcase the best of the resort.

Around 15 auditionees turned up to Liam’s casting event, at Dahlia’s Kitchen, with several set to make the grade for the pilot which he plans to film next month.

“Everyone who came was really bubbly and up for the idea,” said Liam, who has appeared on TV in the likes of The Xtra Factor and Channel 4’s Four In A Bed.

“Among the characters we had someone who loves Doctor Who, a drag queen on ice, a kick boxer and a dance school teacher, as well as someone who’d lost six stone in six months.

Judges for the pilot of a new reality show based in Blackpool. From left, Junior Jay of Skymax Pictures Production Company, Ibiza Weekender star Rachael Rhodes, Dahlia's Kitchen owner Shaun Pickup, Big Brother star Mark Byron, producer Liam Halewood and casting producer Paul Newberry

Judges for the pilot of a new reality show based in Blackpool. From left, Junior Jay of Skymax Pictures Production Company, Ibiza Weekender star Rachael Rhodes, Dahlia's Kitchen owner Shaun Pickup, Big Brother star Mark Byron, producer Liam Halewood and casting producer Paul Newberry

“They’ve all got real role model potential.”

Helping with the casting process were reality stars Rachael Rhodes from Ibiza Weekender and Mark Byron, a former Big Brother housemate, as well as Junior Jay of Skymax Pictures Production Company - which will shoot Liam’s pilot, Dahlia’s Kitchen owner Shaun Pickup, and casting producer Paul Newberry.

“I stood back and left the panel to do the judging, but everyone was great and no one was shy about speaking in front of the camera,” Liam said.

Originally from Liverpool, Liam’s lived in Blackpool for the past six years and firmly regards the resort as his home.

“The casting was a real eye opener about the amount of young people who are positive about Blackpool,” he added.

“The council has backed me, so if I’m doing this I now have to show that there’s enough drama and success, and people who actually represent the resort for the absolutely amazing place that it is.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better turn out.”

Liam, 28, of Hornby Road, said there had been interest in the pilot from three TV channels, known for their reality-type programming, and was hopeful one of these would take on the series after the initial pilot is complete.

“It’s all systems go now to get it happening,” he added. “I need to keep it true to the original idea but the pieces are falling into place for that to happen now.”