Funny Girls is one of the star attractions of Blackpool's nightlife

Funny Girls
Funny Girls
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Funny Girls has been a star attraction in Blackpool for more than 20 years with its flamboyant mix of drag queens music and sharp comedy.

The concept burst on to Blackpool’s nightlife scene back in July 1994, in its original venue at the promenade end of Queen Street.

In its first few years alone it expanded across a number of shop fronts on the street and established the area as the place for the town’s nightlife economy, before moving into the iconic former Odeon cinema venue on Dickson Road.

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The move was a long-held dream of entrepreneur Basil Newby who was awarded an MBE for his services to business and the resort’s gay community in the 2013 New Years Honours list.

The opening night saw screen diva Joan Collins as guest of honour and the club went from strength to strength with its host Betty “legs” Diamond leading to the phenomenon of the “Pink Pound” as Blackpool embraced the gay scene with open arms.

However, the business was later dogged by tax troubles stemming from the compulsory purchase of Flamingos as part of the Talbot Gateway project.

It resulted in a bill of around £800,000 which resulted in a company voluntary arrangement in 2013 to clear the debt gradually.

The tax issue reappeared this year and HMRC was due to take the company to court.