Strictly Come Dancing back at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani dance the Argentine Tango
Image caption Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani dance the Argentine Tango in the 2011 final

The BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing is returning to Blackpool's Tower Ballroom.

The resort missed out on an annual visit from the celebrity dancing competition last year.

The managing director of Marketing Blackpool Natalie Wyatt said it was "thrilled" at the news that one of the heats will be staged in Blackpool.

The final of the 2011 show filmed at the Tower Ballroom attracted 12m viewers.

'Highlight of the year'

It was won by McFly musician Harry Judd, who beat Waterloo Road actress Chelsee Healey to lift the glitterball trophy.

Judd and his partner Aliona Vilani also performed a waltz with the Olympic torch in June 2012 at the famous ballroom.

Blackpool Tower's general manager Kate Shane said hosting the show was the highlight of the year.

She said: "The buzz that Strictly brings to the Tower and the town is tangible, and we are very proud that the Tower has been included in this year's schedule."

To mark the news she added the Tower will be lit up later, "sparkly, like a glitter ball", when it gets dark.

'Such a buzz'

Ms Wyatt said: "Having such a popular show in Blackpool again is a real boost to the local economy and all the dance schools in the area.

"We love having the show here. It creates such a buzz in the town."

Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will present the new series which starts in the autumn and Len Goodman, Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli will be judging the celebrities again.

A Strictly Come Dancing spokesman said of the return to the Tower Ballroom: "It's such an iconic venue for dance, and an honour to take Strictly to such a venue once again."

The Tower Ballroom, which opened in 1899, was the home of BBC One's long-running Come Dancing series.

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