Stars of Blackpool’s showbiz community turned out to congratulate singer Joe Longthorne on 30 years of entertainment in Blackpool.
Joe, who has been fighting to regain his full health since a cancer diagnosis, was treated to a Mayoral reception at the Town Hall with more than 100 guests.
Blackpool Mayor, Coun Ian Coleman, gave a presentation in the council chamber before a party in the Mayor’s parlour.
Coun Coleman said: “Joe Longthorne is special and different every time you see him preform. He is an entertainer par excellence, a showman of incredible calibre.
“He is well respected throughout the industry and has been a wonderful performer for Blackpool over those 30 years.”
Joe said he was surprised and delighted by the turn out at the Town Hall.
He said: “It was a great honour. Blackpool means so much to me and to see all those people and so many friends there was wonderful and I thank them all.
“Blackpool has changed over the 30 years I have been performing here but it is still up there at the top. It has so many characters and there’s always something going on here. I have put the award right next to my MBE, it means that much to me.”
Joe said he was looking forward to performing at Viva where he has four more Sunday night shows before the season ends. He has also got a tour lined up for November including a date at Leicester Square.
Among the many performer guests were friends Tony Jo and Johnny Casson, plus agents, impresarios, councillors and fans.
Joe Longthorne’s career took off in 1987 when he starred in Live from the London Palladium and Des O’Connor tonight on TV. That year he released three albums, all of which went platinum. He was invited to headline a season at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago and sang in Las Vegas.
He has enjoyed sell-out performances at the Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the London Palladium. In 2007 he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Variety Club, and he got the MBE in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to charity.
Joe was born in Hull but has lived in Blackpool for 18 years but was a regular star visitor before that.
Joe, 62, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2005, and he underwent a bone marrow transplant a year later. At the time he told the Gazette that he thought his 2004 Opera House performance was going to be his last.
Then in 2014, he had throat cancer, but battled back to perform once more and was hoping to be able to play a full season at Viva Blackpool this year until further health problems at the start of the season caused him to limit his performances.