Strictly not dancing

DANCE fans have been dealt a massive blow with the news Strictly Come Dancing will NOT be coming to Blackpool this series.

Hopes were high the glittering final for the hit BBC show would be held at Britain's most famous ballroom for the second year running.

But it appears, despite both contestants and fans love of Blackpool's world famous Tower Ballroom, an unexplained "logistical problem" has scuppered such hopes.

Filming of the show will now remain in the south of the country.

The Tower today confirmed the show would not be recording any of the heats and the final would not be held at the venue.

A spokesman for Blackpool Tourism Department said: "We're obviously disappointed that a programme of the popularity of Strictly Come Dancing is not coming to Blackpool for this latest series.

"The Tower Ballroom looks wonderful on screen and we would hope that the BBC in the future can overcome their logistical problems and bring the popular television show back to the home of ballroom dancing."

The BBC is staying tight-lipped as to what problem is, but Elaine Fossett, mother-in-law of singer Aled Jones, who narrowly missed out on a place in last year's final, said she was shocked by the news.

She said: "The one thing everyone was in agreement with last year was that Blackpool was the best place to perform. Its sprung dancefloor and the whole atmosphere made it a natural choice.

"I'm so disappointed because the Tower Ballroom really brought out the costumes and the lighting and the atmosphere was perfect."

Host Bruce Forsyth had last year praised the resort, which was the home of the original Come Dancing series in the 1970s, saying "I only wish we could do it in Blackpool every week."

Dance fan Vernon Allen, of Freckleton, who went out last year's final, said: "I can't believe it. The response from all the competitors who took part in the Blackpool heat and the finals was that they all got a buzz from performing at the Tower.

"They couldn't praise the venue enough. I can't believe this year's competition has snubbed the greatest ballroom in the country - the Mecca of ballroom dancing."

Blackpool went mad for Strictly Come Dancing last year, with all three finalists soaking up the atmosphere of the Tower. Hundreds of fans of the cult TV show gathered to meet their ballroom dancing heroes on the eve of the show.

Athlete Denise Lewis loved the atmosphere in the Victorian ballroom. Winner, actress Jill Halfpenny, described dancing in the ballroom as "totally awesome", while comedian Julian Clary said the atmosphere "just carries you."

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed none of the third series would be filmed in Blackpool.

*BBC2 programme 'Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two' is looking for a couple to take part in their show.

If you would you like the chance to be taught by one of Strictly Come Dancing's professional dancers the BBC wants to hear from you.

Perspective dancers must be available on Monday October 31 when the filming will take place in Blackpool.

If you are interested call 0208 225 7965 as soon as possible.