Town missing out on Strictly boom

Winners Aliona Vilani and Harry Judd dancing during Strictly Come Dancing, in Blackpool.
Winners Aliona Vilani and Harry Judd dancing during Strictly Come Dancing, in Blackpool.
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BLACKPOOL is missing out on priceless publicity after BBC bosses decided not to film Strictly Come Dancing in the resort this year, a leading councillor has warned.

Coun Maxine Callow, shadow cabinet member for tourism on Blackpool Council, said everything must be done to attract the top-ratings show back to the Tower Ballroom.

She said: “Ten million – this is the audience for Strictly Come Dancing, they are even beating the X Factor.

“The publicity we had from Strictly coming to Blackpool you could never have bought in a million years.

“And we have lost it, and all the good publicity has disappeared which could have helped us, and especially helped us counteract all the bad publicity we have had from Channel 4 (999: What’s Your Emergency?).

“It must be brought back.

“This is the home of ballroom dancing. All the dancers say we have the best ballrooms in the world.”

Coun Callow also said the town should try and attract the Royal Variety Show back to the resort, after the Opera House successfully hosted the event in 2009.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn, who is also a director of Marketing Blackpool, said talks were being held with the BBC.

He said: “I share the view it would have been good to have Strictly Come Dancing here.

“We are in a constant dialogue with the BBC and other TV production companies to get shows like that here.

“Money can’t buy this kind of publicity.

“My understanding is the BBC wanted to keep it alive by moving it (Strictly Come Dancing) about a bit. I would like it here and we are working towards that.”

Tourism bosses have previously said Strictly can create more than £20m of prime time exposure for the resort.

Last year the Tower Ballroom hosted the final of the competition which attracted around 12 million viewers.

BBC bosses said the decision not to come to Blackpool was due to the “mammoth logistical exercise” of relocating for one night but did not rule out a return to the resort.