Footloose the Musical comes to Blackpool – final casting announced for 2022 Tour

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Selladoor Worldwide has confirmed final casting for Footloose the Musical, which will be staged in Blackpool this spring.


Back by popular demand, the musical will arrive in Blackpool between April 11 and 16, 2022 as part of an extensive UK tour.

Lucy Munden will join the cast as Ariel, alongside Oonagh Cox as Rusty. In Zurich the role of Willard will be played by Luke Friend, with Philip Bulcock as Reverend Moore.

Previously announced cast includes Jake Quickenden as Willard and Darren Day as Reverend Moore with Anna Westlake (Lulu), Alex Fobbester (Bickle), Ben Barrow (Wes), Ben Mabberley (Jeter), Geri Allen (Ethal), Holly Ashton (Vi), Jess Barker (Wendi-Jo), Joshua Hawkins (Ren), Samantha Richards (Urleen), Tom Mussell (Chuck), and Daniel Miles

Rehearsal for Footloose 
Picture credit Mark Senior

Rehearsal for Footloose Picture credit Mark Senior

and Lucy Ireland as off-stage swings.

Following two critically acclaimed tours and huge popular demand, Footloose The Musical is back and better than ever!

The musical which was postponed in 2020 is set to burst back onto stage in 2022.

Jake first hit our screens in The X Factor in 2012 and again in 2014 where he went through to the live shows followed by appearances on Chart Show TV, ITV’s Kellys Heroes, as a regular panelist on Big Brothers Bit On The Side and as a contestant on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Following his win of the 2018 season of Dancing on Ice Jake has most recently been seen in hit TV show Hollyoaks. Jake is no stranger to the stage having performed in the title role of

Peter Pan at Blackpool Opera House; also touring with the Dreamboys and appearing in Pantomime. He most recently starred in the acclaimed 50th anniversary production of Hair the Musical.

City boy Ren thinks life is bad enough when he’s forced to move to a rural backwater in America. But his world comes to a standstill when he arrives at Bomont to find dancing and rock music are banned.

Taking matters into his own hands, soon Ren has all hell breaking loose and the whole town on its feet.

Based on the 1980s screen sensation which took the world by storm, Footloose The Musical sizzles with spirit, fun and the best in UK musical talent. With cutting edge modern choreography, you’ll enjoy classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear It For The Boy and of course the unforgettable title track


Footloose The Musical will be presented by Selladoor Productions and Runaway Entertainment with casting by Debbie O’Brien, and will be directed by Racky Plews, with choreography from Matt Cole, musical supervision by Mark Crossland and design by Sara Perks with lighting design from Chris Davey and sound design from Chris Whybrow.

April 11 to 16, Blackpool Opera House – 0844 856 1111



WATCH: The shocking moment a north west driver sped past at 100mph – on the wrong side of the road

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This is the shocking moment a driver allegedly sped past at 100mph – on the wrong side of the road.


Onlookers said the driver sped past in a no-overtake zone and barely made it back onto the right side of the road in time.

The incident took place on December 31 on the A590 between Dalton-in-Furness and Lindal-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Connor Chapman, 22, a food delivery driver, filmed the incident on his dashcam while driving his girlfriend home from work.

The incident took place on December 31

The incident took place on December 31
Hair-raising footage shows banned Lancashire driver leading police on 100mph cha…

“It could have easily caused a crash.”



Blackpool’s trip to Barnsley CALLED OFF due to Covid-19 in the opposition camp

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Blackpool’s trip to Barnsley has been postponed.

The Seasiders were due to make the journey over the Pennines to Oakwell on Saturday to take on the struggling Tykes.

But the fixture has been called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak among the Barnsley squad, which is also low on numbers due to injuries.

“We have advised the EFL that the club will be unable to fulfil Saturday’s fixture against Blackpool. Therefore, the game has been postponed,” Barnsley said in a statement.

“Alongside long-term injuries, a large number of players and backroom staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

“We apologise for the inconvenience of this postponement and details regarding the rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated to our supporters in due course.”

It’s Barnsley’s second fixture to be chalked off this week after the South Yorkshire outfit were also forced to postpone their midweek clash against Stoke City.

Blackpool's trip to Oakwell will need to be rearranged

Blackpool’s trip to Oakwell will need to be rearranged

That announcement came just two days after Payo Asbaghi’s side were taken all the way to extra-time by League Two side Barrow in the FA Cup on Saturday, eventually edging through 5-4.

Barnsley languish in the Championship’s bottom three, having won just two league games all season.

Barnsley’s chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad said: “Covid-19 continues to test all individuals in all walks of life, be it logistically or financially.

“It was well documented following our FA Cup fixture that Covid-19 had infiltrated our squad. As the days progressed, it became clear that we would not be able to field a team on Wednesday evening and attention turned to quelling the outbreak and preventing further spread.

“I must note that it’s not just the playing staff that have been impacted, departments who interact on a daily basis with the players have also suffered.

“Thankfully, those individuals who returned a positive result remain in good spirits and are following NHS guidance closely.

“In light of Wednesday night’s postponement, we began asking questions regarding Saturday’s fixture.

“With the knowledge that this new variant is extremely transmissible, staff at Oakwell have respected the necessary guidance and plans to reduce potential transmission.

“I, of course share the frustration of our community, however the safety and well-being of our players and staff is of paramount importance.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to stay safe.”

It’s the first time a Blackpool game has been called off this season.

Neil Critchley’s side, who have been depleted by Covid and injuries themselves in recent weeks, are just one of two Championship sides to play all 26 scheduled games so far this season.

As per every postponement, the EFL will now review the circumstances surrounding the decision to call off the game.

A new date for the fixture will be confirmed in due course.

All previously purchased tickets will remain valid for the rearranged game, however Barnsley will offer refunds for those unable to attend the new date.


‘No plans to tarmac parts of Lytham Green for car parking’

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A consultation on parking which closes this weekend is not a ‘back-door’ attempt to tarmac part of Lytham Green.

That’s the categorical message from a leading Fylde councillor following social media speculation that treasured grassland on Lytham’s waterfront jewel could be lost to accommodate more cars.

The firm assurance comes after a social media claim that the consultation, which closes on Sunday night, could result in further permanent car parks on The Green, in addition to the two current ones, which are effectively extensions of Bath Street and Dicconson Terrace.

The Green has been used in recent times, including last summer, for parking on the grass but that has been strictly reserved for special events, as designated by the council.

Fylde Council's Bath Street car park in Lytham

Fylde Council’s Bath Street car park in Lytham

“The consultation is purely inviting views on all aspects of parking in Lytham to help us plan for the future,” said Coun Roger Small, chairman of the council’s operational management committee as well as being deputy leader.

“It’s a completely open agenda, with all views welcome from all those affected, but further tarmac on The Green is categorically not an option.

“We actually couldn’t do that if we wanted to, as it is covered by a covenant, but there is certainly no desire to do that anyway, and this consultation is not a ‘back door’ attempt to bring that about.

The consultation is available to contribute to on line until midnight on Sunday, January 9 and is at

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.


Blackpool firm wins work on £10m city living project

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Blackpool building services engineering company, Ameon ended its calendar year with a £10m mechanical and electrical contract gain.

The Whitehills-based firm won the work at Latitude Purple, the Hub Group’s huge twin-tower residential development on Whitehall Road in Leeds city centre.

Appointed by main contractor, John Sisk and Son, Ameon will commence its 72-week phase of the contract on the development in November 2022 and will deploy up to 80 operatives at peak on the project.

It will involve design and installation of the services infrastructure serving 463 residential apartments and communal areas in the 17 and 21-storey towers and the single- storey podium deck, linking the taller structures.

The Latitude Purple scheme

The Latitude Purple scheme

Ameon contracts director, Rod Bunce said: “We’ve demonstrated our capabilities on many high-rise residential tower blocks, particularly in the development hotspots of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds in recent years; therefore I believe we’re a perfect fit for Latitude Purple, which will be a fantastic addition to the skyline of city centre Leeds.

“We’re also delighted to be working again with Sisk, with whom we have enjoyed excellent working relationships on previous projects and look forward to helping to bring Latitude Purple to life.”

Alan Rodger, managing director for UK North, John Sisk and Son, said: “I am delighted that we will be working with Ameon on this prestigious development for Hub Group, which will expand the city centre, and provide hundreds of quality homes for the local community.

“We have a brilliant working relationship with the company, forged on previous high-quality projects, and I am excited that we will get to strengthen that relationship further on Latitude Purple.”

Latitude Purple is the first of a raft of new contracts across the north for Ameon, with more in the pipeline for 2022.


Blackpool’s Dickson Road shut after serious crash involving mobility scooter rider

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A person riding a mobility scooter has been struck by a car in Blackpool this morning (Thursday, January 13).

Police closed Dickson Road after the crash outside the Duke of York pub at around 8.50am.

Ambulance crews have attended and the road remains shut whilst crash investigators work at the scene.

Lancashire Police described the incident as ‘serious’ but have not released details at this stage.

Police have shut Dickson Road in Blackpool after a crash involving a mobility scooter outside the Duke of York pub at around 8.50am (Thursday, January 13)

Police have shut Dickson Road in Blackpool after a crash involving a mobility scooter outside the Duke of York pub at around 8.50am (Thursday, January 13)

A cordon is in place across Dickson Road, which remains closed from Banks Street to Cocker Street.

A police spokesman said: “It’s a serious road traffic collision. It came into us at 8.54am. A road closure remains in place.”

North West Ambulance Service has been approached for further details.

More to follow…


Amazing defibrillator fundraisers hand over latest device to Fleetwood school – their tenth in just six months

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A Fleetwood primary school is the latest location to be included in an impressive campaign to provide lifesaving defibrillators across the community.

Sharon Cliff (left), acting head of Larkholme Primary School, with school parent Helen Crane (centre), Debbie Atkinson, chairman of governors and two pupils, as Helen presents a defibrillator to the school.

Sharon Cliff (left), acting head of Larkholme Primary School, with school parent Helen Crane (centre), Debbie Atkinson, chairman of governors and two pupils, as Helen presents a defibrillator to the school.

Since last July, Fleetwood women Helen Crane and Gill Gallagher, supported by pal Debbie Atkinson, have raised enough funds to have no less than 10 defibrillators installed at various locations around the town.

Already one of these devices has been used in a serious health incident in the town.

A defibrillator gives an electric shock to the heart of someone suffering a cardiac arrest and can help save their life, especially as the first few minutes after the attack can be vital.

The latest device was presented to Larkholme Primary School, on Windermere Avenue in Fleetwood, but the the school says it has been registered with the ambulance service and can also be used to help people in the area, not just the school itself.

So successful has the women’s campaign been that they are now busy fundraising to obtain some defibrillators for Poulton as well.

Rebecca Sims, deputy headteacher at Larkholme Primary School, said: “We were delighted to receive a defibrillator from these amazing ladies.

“Mrs Crane is one of our school parents and Mrs Atkinson is our chairman of governors and this will benefit not only our school but the surrounding community.

“When there is an emergency incident involving someone having a heart attack, the ambulance service will direct the caller to the nearest registered defibrillator.

“We have trained First Aiders in the school who know how to quickly use the defibrillator and it also works well with our curriculum – the pupils know about the importance of the defibrillator and parents waiting outside school know we have it here too.”

Helen Crane and Gill Gallagher originally only wanted to raise funds for just one defibrillator close to Fleetwood’s boating and model yacht lakes.

The pair knew the area, close to where Gill runs Dolly’s Beach Kiosk on The Esplanade, was particularly busy in summer, yet the nearest defibrillators were too far away in the event of an emergency.

They were prompted to raise money when an elderly visitor fell ill and was wrongly thought to be having a heart attack.

They set the target of raising £1,600 via online raffles on their Facebook pages – but they ended up raising more than needed and just kept going with their amazing campaign.


Cordon at Stanley Park lake to be lifted soon as swans fight back against deadly bird flu

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The lake in Blackpool’s award-winning Stanley Park is expected to reopen soon  after almost two months in quarantine.


The lake was cordoned off on Monday, November 11, following a suspected outbreak of bird flu amid a national surge in reports of the disease.

Two swans and one Canada goose were believed to have died there due to bird flu, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs later confirmed the diagnosis.

By November 25, 17 birds were dead, with Blackpool Council warning that three more swans living in the park were showing symptoms.

The lake should be reopened soon

The lake should be reopened soon

Four more birds died in December, raising the total death toll to 21, with swans making up the vast majority of victims.

Almost 30 per cent of the total swan population was wiped out, with numbers falling from 68 in early November to just 48 one month later.

Hope is on the horizon, however, as the council has said that no suspected bird flu deaths have been reported in the park since December 20 – and that the closure of the lake will soon be lifted.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “No dead swans have been found since December 20, as a result the cordon is likely to be removed soon, however we do not have an exact timescale on this.

“We’re very appreciative the public’s patience and support on this matter.”

Last month, animal rescue volunteers called on members of the public not to ignore the warning signs in place around the lake, as doing so could risk spreading the disease, which does not usually infect humans.

However, a 79-year-old Devon man was diagnosed with the disease last week, after catching it from ducks he kept inside his home.

The grandfather is the first ever human in the UK to be diagnosed with the disease, which has only been recorded 1,000 times in people globally since it emerged in the late 1990s.



New calls to sort out eyesore shop in heart of Fleetwood

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It was once the jewel in the crown on Fleetwood’s high street but the town’s biggest shop lies empty and has become the worst eyesore in the town centre.


The grim-looking shopfront of the former Store Twenty One premises on Lord Street in Fleetwood.

The grim-looking shopfront of the former Store Twenty One premises on Lord Street in Fleetwood.

The former Store Twenty One building, on Lord Street, has been empty since 2016 and its condition has continued to deteriorate, despite once housing Fleetwood’s most cherished shop, the Marks and Spencer store, until the mid 1980s.

Many in the town are still under the impression that is owned by the high street chain but it is understood to be owned by a Salford-based charity which has has a faith background.

Various attempts have been made over recent years to get the owners to tidy up the site but nothing has worked.

The former Store Twenty One shop on Lord Street in Fleetwood

The former Store Twenty One shop on Lord Street in Fleetwood

On separate occasions there have been two potentially fatal incidents, one involving an open window being ripped off by the wind and crashing to the ground below, the other involving a rusty sign also falling onto the pavement.

On another occasion a huge cannabis factory was found to be growing there and a man found tending it was discovered to be the victim of modern slavery.

Terry Rogers, former chairman of Fleetwood Town Council and now chairman of Fleetwood Festival of Transport, wants to see organisations make a concerted effort in 2022 to solve the problem, and said: “It’s an abomination that this building has been allowed to be left like that.

“It really lets the town down and I don’t think it would be tolerated in Cleveleys or Poulton. I feel like covering it in a shroud because it is embarrassing. We need to address it this year.”



Blackpool adventurer Jordan Wylie completes ice marathon in antarctica

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Despite the world being put off all forms of travel by continuously changing rules and regulations, British adventurer and Channel 4 Hunted star Jordan Wylie said he remains determined in his quest to complete his polar mission of running marathons in the world’s coldest places.

After nearly three weeks of flights, quarantines in Chile, PCR tests, a library of documentation in his back pack and patiently waiting for weather windows to open from Antarctic storms, the intrepid former soldier and army cadets national ambassador made it to the Union Glacier in Antarctica where he ran 26.2 miles on the coldest, windiest, iciest, highest and driest continent on the planet.

Jordan has already competed ice marathons in Siberia, Yukon, Alaska and Jökulsárlón in Iceland and late last year had his latest book published about a paddle board trip around the UK.

He said: “To accomplish a marathon at the end of the earth on in this magical place was an incredibly tough challenge, it was punishing from start to finish and unforgiving throughout.

Adventurer Jordan Wylie  having completed a marathon in Antarctica. Picture by Mark Conlon

Adventurer Jordan Wylie having completed a marathon in Antarctica. Picture by Mark Conlon

“I had also carried an achilles’ heel injury for the last 12 months which was really painful and caused me problems from around nine miles in, there was no way I was quitting though, it would have punished me mentally for the rest of my life, having come this far.

“It was a great privilege to experience this majestic land that most people will never make it to. I feel very grateful for this incredible opportunity thanks to my incredibly kind sponsors at The Eton Harris Group.

“Many people asked me why I would want to travel to so far for an adventure in the current climate, my answer to them is that one thing I have learned in the past 18 months is that tomorrow is never promised and we must always embrace the here and now. Be safe, get your vaccines, follow the rules, but keep living life to the full as you never know what’s around the corner.”

Jordan will now prepare for his next extreme marathon which will be even colder when he heads for the North Pole in April to continue his mission.

Jordan running across the Union Glacier. Picture by Mark Conlon

Jordan running across the Union Glacier. Picture by Mark Conlon

He will also be back on screen in January on Channel 4 when Celebrity Hunted returns to TV once again, where he works as one of the hunters tracking the contestants.


Elkie Brooks’ Blackpool show postponed

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Elkie Brooks will not be performing this Friday (January 14) at Blackpool Grand Theatre as planned due to illness.

Star singer Elkie Brooks has postponed her show in Blackpool

The celebrated songstress has been rescheduled to appear on Sunday October 30 2022.

She will still delight fans old and new in October with her unmistakable husky vocals as she storms through her bestselling back catalogue from Pearl’s A Singer to Powerless.

Now in the sixth decade of her stellar career, Brooks is still proving to be one of the most powerful and versatile vocal talents around.

All current ticket holders for Elkie Brooks will be offered the opportunity to move to the new date or given a full refund.

Please call the Box Office on 01253 290190 or visit www.BlackpoolGrand. for full listings, bookings and further information on all our live music events.