Entertainer Joe Longthorne is back with his first summer season for two years – and he’s raring to go.
The singer and impressionist is the star turn in Viva’s new Sunday night variety show – a show the venue’s owners say is a step up as they target Las Vegas-standard productions.
Joe, who headlines and is the entire second half of the Joe Longthorne Viva Variety Show, said it was great to be back after time battling cancer.
He said: “I’ve been off two years – I had an operation a couple of years ago for cancer and I’ve had radio and chemotherapy.
“But it’s exciting – this year, to be back on form and in the driving seat.
“I’m thrilled to be back on the stage.
“I can’t believe it’s been two years since I’ve done a season in Blackpool.
“I’m raring to go. I’m going to be like Ken Dodd. And he did a week on stage here one night!”
Show compere Leye D Johns said: “We want everyone to se all of our shows are Vegas quality and Vegas style.
“We’ve always done variety but this show shows we are on the ball – variety is huge at the moment so we’ve stepped it up.
“The show is about having the singer, magician, dancers, comedian. It went missing for five to 10 years nationally, but now it’s back.
“It’s been rare to see outside the Palladium and here.
“We’re established now so we’ve upped the ante.”
And there’s no better place than Blackpool for a variety show, according to Joe.
He said: “Look all around the country. Blackpool is still the best. It’s head and shoulders above anywhere else. Just look what you’ve got – Hot Ice, Legends, us, there’s something for everyone.
“The Winter gardens has a lot of great shows. I love it here. The Tower Circus, the theatres. You can’t walk 200 yards without finding entertainment.
“No one puts on a show like Blackpool. It started as the best, and will continue to be the best.
“We’ve a revue-style show. We’ve Leye D Johns. Comedians, a great singer in Jennifer Ball, and magician Michael Ball – he’s tipped for the top and magicians are flavour of the month.
“It’s a strong line-up, a great show, and we’re looking forward to doing it.
“After the break, I’ll be doing the complete second half.
“For me, it’s new songs, routines and new impressions.
“I’ve been adopted by Blackpool as a son. I’ve lived here 20 years with my partner.
“Britain’s Got Talent is supposed to have brought variety back, but we haven’t seen many variety shows. The trouble is often there’s no venue for them – but we can do it here.
“Variety is not dead.”
Joe Longthorne’s Viva Variety is on every Sunday at Viva, starting an 18-week run tomorrow.