Lancashire

Joe Longthorne: Blackpool North Pier theatre renamed after singer

Joe Longthorne on Blackpool North Pier Image copyright joelongthornembe.co.uk
Image caption Joe Longthorne made his debut on the pier in 1987

The theatre at Blackpool North Pier is to be renamed in memory of entertainer Joe Longthorne who died last year.

The pier owners and his husband Jamie Moran have been in discussions for several months about the plan.

The Hull-born performer, who died in August, had his first summer season at the pier in 1987.

The Joe Longthorne MBE Theatre will be officially opened on 30 May followed by a gala evening on what would have been the entertainer's 65th birthday.

A small museum dedicated to him with memorabilia including his grand piano, MBE and gold disc will open next to the theatre.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The entertainer died in August 2019

Mr Moran said the singer and impressionist would have been "thrilled and delighted" with the honour.

He added: "He simply loved the feel of the theatre right at the end of the pier looking out on the Irish Sea."

Longthorne, who made Blackpool his home, performed more than 20 seasons in the 1,400 capacity theatre on the Grade II-listed pier which he described as his all time favourite venue.

Born to a travelling background, Longthorne received his big break on the ITV series Search For A Star in 1981 and featured regularly featured on other TV programmes in the 1980s, the Royal Variety Performance, and also appeared in theatre in the US and at the Sydney Opera House.

Image copyright joelongthornembe.co.uk
Image caption Joe Longthorne's grand piano will be the centrepiece of the museum
Image copyright joelongthornembe.co.uk
Image caption The star said the pier was his favourite venue
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The MBE presented to Joe Longthorne in 2012 will be one of the exhibits

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