A £250,000 Brucie Bonus as big night arrives

Photo Ian Robinson'Strictly Come Dancing preparations at Blackpool Tower Ballroom
Photo Ian Robinson'Strictly Come Dancing preparations at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The stars of Strictly Come Dancing are set to give Blackpool’s economy a £250,000 boost, delighted tourism chiefs predicted today.

When the prime time show airs from the Blackpool Tower Ballroom tonight 13 million viewers are expected to tune in, offering the resort a “money can’t buy” advert.

The show’s remaining nine celebrities and their professional dancing partners, along with dozens of production staff and a host of backing dancers have filled the world famous venue for the broadcast.

And they’re filling the resort’s hotels, eating in restaurants and attracting hundreds of fans to the resort, boosting the economy at the end of a bumper summer season.

Blackpool Tower general manager Kate Shane says the show should see more people visiting once they see the ballroom’s splendour on TV.

She added: “It’s a massive positive for the Tower and the town.

“The most popular television programme is broadcasting to 13 million viewers who get to see the beautiful Blackpool Tower ballroom - we couldn’t buy that.

“People who may not have been here before will be encouraged to come and pay us a visit.”

The value of such prime time national TV exposure is estimated at around £20m.

And business leaders have predicted the Strictly juggernaut could herald a quarter of a million pound boost for the local economy.

Hugh Evans, from North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The national exposure that Blackpool will receive from a multi-million TV audience can be measured easily in the tens of thousands of pounds if not more.

“Visitor spend from those lucky enough to have tickets and those involved in the production of the show could easily top £250,000 especially when you factor in accommodation and food and consider that many people will be making a weekend of it.

“All in all a nice profitable weekend for the town in the run up to Christmas.”

Crowds greeted the arrival of the presenters and stars yesterday for rehearsals, even if Bruce Forsyth had a slight mishap after he trapped his coat in a car door as he made his way to the Tower.

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “This is publicity for Blackpool for the right reasons.

“It started last week when I lost count of the number of times Blackpool was mentioned during the show.

“Dance is something Blackpool does really well.”

“It’s great also that hotels are gaining the benefit of people staying in the town who are here for the show. Both our properties are full on Saturday.”