TV duo set for a Prom talent tour

Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec
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TV favourites Ant and Dec are set to bring a touch of showbiz sparkle to Blackpool when they lead a Britain’s Got Talent parade through the resort.

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will host a carnival-style event on the Promenade between North and Central Piers on Wednesday, January 18 ahead of filming auditions in the resort later in the month.

It is hoped the television stars will appear on an open top bus to attract crowds of people to be filmed for the show.

It will be the first time the ITV talent search programme has held a parade of its kind in the UK.

A spokesman for Britain’s Got Talent said: “With Simon Cowell coming back to the judging panel, it’s going to be massive this year.

“We are planning huge things in the places where the auditions are being held.

“We are coming to Blackpool to do some auditions with the judges. We will hopefully have Ant and Dec on an open top bus and get a massive carnival happening around them.

“It’s going to be fantastic.

“We want everyone and anyone to turn up to support Blackpool.”

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It is anticipated the duo will spend around three hours filming shots for the show’s sixth series on January 18, which will be aired in the spring.

Singer and songwriter Alesha Dixon yesterday announced she was leaving the BBC’s flagship Saturday evening programme, Strictly Come Dancing, to join Simon Cowell on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel.

Comedian David Walliams and returning judge Amanda Holden will also be joining the search for a star.

Blackpool made quite an impact the last time the resort featured on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2008 – sadly not always for the right reasons,

Cowell and fellow judge Piers Morgan were less than gracious in respect of some of the acts they saw during auditions at the Opera House.

Morgan said: “We sat through eight hours of what I can only describe as less an ‘end-of-the-pier’ show, more a ‘chuck-yourself-off-the-end-of-the-pier’ show.”

One of the undoubted highlights was unlucky resort escapologist Nicky Flash whose trick backfired when he got trapped within his own duvet.

Morgan added: “Simon looked quite shell-shocked by the end of it.

“(Blackpool) was utterly brilliant, though, just not in quite the way we imagined.”

Cowell was impressed by the audience at least.

He said: “It’s the best audience we’ve ever had, they welcomed us with open arms.

“As for what I saw on stage it ranged from the brilliantly good to the brilliantly bad!”

The prize for the winner of Britain’s Got Talent is a whopping £500,000 and a chance to perform at 2012’s Royal Variety Performance.