WITH this cheery face representing the town it is hard to imagine how Blackpool has been named the saddest place in the country.
Despite boasting the fun of the Pleasure Beach, the Golden Mile and kiss-me-quick hats, the Government’s new happiness index has revealed the resort has the lowest percentage of happy people.
But local characters have hit back at the glum title and says the entertainment capital provides laughter all year round.
Blackpool town crier Barry McQueen said: “We are a very happy town. With all the regeneration that has gone on, it’s got better and better.
“We’ve had a lot of nice events recently and there are more to come. A lot of the local people enjoy going to the shows and having a laugh.
“There isn’t a town in the country that hasn’t got problems. We are doing very well. We have always been Britain’s number one seaside resort and, in my mind, we always will be.
“We have to put a smiley face on when the tourists come.”
The study of 200,000 people aged 16 and over was published by the Office for National Statistics as part of the Prime Minister David Cameron’s initiative launched in 2010 to assess the nation’s wellbeing.
He said the scheme is crucial for the Government to find out how to “really improve lives”.
The first Integrated Household Survey, which was carried out in the year up to April, revealed the remote Orkney and Shetland islands have Britain’s highest proportion of happy residents.
Rural Rutland, peaceful Anglesey, Wiltshire and West Berkshire are next on the list.
Poulton ventriloquist, Keith Harris, believes he and famous dummy Orville have the answer to turn people’s feelings of despair around.
He said: “They need to put me back onto the shows in Blackpool and I’ll make everyone laugh!
“As far as I’m concerned it’s a great place to live.
“Travelling up and down the country, I think Blackpool has a lot to offer to make people laugh.
“I find the title of it being the saddest place in the country very strange.
“There is so much to do in Blackpool.”