Tower venue prepares for Strictly glitz

The rig is prepared in The Tower ballroom for Strictly Come Dancing

The rig is prepared in The Tower ballroom for Strictly Come Dancing

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The glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing has arrived in Blackpool.

Lorries lined the Promenade in front of The Tower yesterday morning as the production crew moved into the historic venue ahead of Saturday’s show.

Hundreds of flight cases, coded blue and black for lights and the miles of cables, as well as chandeliers and glitterballs have been unpacked, as the rig is built under the guilded ceiling of The Tower ballroom.

Crew members have been busily wheeling the kit into place as dressing rooms are prepared and the brass is polished to a glistening finish.

Blackpool Tower general manager Kate Shane said the team was ready for the challenge - after a busy end of the season for the venue.

“We are all so excited,” she said.

“It has been a very busy season, and especially so in the last week; we had the Gold Soul weekender, the Lancashire Tourism Awards on Thursday and the Archbishop of York, and the October half term before that, so it has been a mad, busy build up.

“We would have liked a bit of a break, but we are all ready to go for it. The brilliant team here is ready.

“When Strictly are in town there’s a lot of long hours, but it doesn’t feel like hard work because it’s so much fun and we love being part of the programme.”

Professional dancers, Anton Du Beke - paired with Judy Murray, the self-confessed ‘worst dancer’ on the show - went out of the competition at The Tower last year, with celebrity, Bond girl Fiona Fullerton. But that’s OK,” he said. “It’s not a bad place for that to happen.

“We’ll have to see how we go, at the mercy of the great British public.

“Blackpool is always a big week. It’s a nice moment in the series. It’s a tremendous ballroom and it’s always lovely to do the show there.”

Laughing at costume fittings behind the scenes ahead of last Saturday’s dancing, Anton joked: “Simon Webbe’s wearing trousers, around his waist… He’s turning into me, he looks so handsome.

“There’s a transformation everyone goes through in Strictly, you would never believe it.”