Strictly won't be heading for Blackpool this year

Strictly Come Dancing’s Blackpool special will not take place this year, the BBC has said.
Presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly won't be bringing Strictly ome Dancing to Blackpool this yearPresenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly won't be bringing Strictly ome Dancing to Blackpool this year
Presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly won't be bringing Strictly ome Dancing to Blackpool this year

Contestants usually head to the famous Tower Ballroom during the second half of the series.

However, the BBC confirmed the show instead would pay tribute to the venue from the studio in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

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A BBC spokesman said: “Blackpool is a milestone moment in every series of Strictly that our audience, our celebs and professional dancers look forward to.

The live Blackpool Tower programme, which sees the last seven couples take to the sprung floor of the UK capital of ballroom dancing, has been a highlight in the show’s calendar since 2004, regularly attracting audiences of more than 10m viewers.

Last year’s show at the 125-year-old Tower saw eventual winners Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse perform a high energy jive while longest-serving professional Anton Du Beke earned his first ever scores of 10 with partner Emma Barton.

Kate Shane, head of Merlin’s Blackpool attractions, has frequently spoken of the value to the resort of hosting such a high profile event.

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Ahead of last year’s visit she said: “We’re immensely proud each year and it’s wonderful to see the whole of Blackpool getting excited from the taxi drivers to the coffee shops. There are 13m TV viewers looking at our town’s ballroom, our town and we love working with the BBC team - it’s fantastic.”

Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh, from Preston and a former pupil of Kirkham Grammar School; soap star Maisie Smith; boxer Nicola Adams; The Wanted singer Max George and DJ Clara Amfo are all competing this year.

Adams will dance as part of the first same-sex couple for the show.

Bruno Tonioli will be absent from the Saturday night judging panel when the show returns.

Tonioli, who is in the US for Dancing With The Stars, will appear full-time towards the end of the series