Category Archives: Stars

Charlotte Dawson pays tribute to the ‘best grandad’ Les Dawson as she shares special family photograph

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Charlotte Dawson has shared a touching new photograph cradling her son Noah, reenacting a very similar picture to one with her own father the late Lytham based legend comic Les Dawson.

Charlotte Dawson with her late father Les Dawson's plaque in St Annes

Charlotte Dawson with her late father Les Dawson’s plaque in St Annes

In the snap, shared to her hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, Charlotte can be seen wearing her father’s silk dressing gown – the same one he is photographed in.

The reality star, recently seen on TV in MTVs Celebrity Bumps, has often spoken of the treasured garment and how it is a comfort for her in feeling connected to her dad, who died when she was just eight months old.

Former make up artist Charlotte, who grew up in the Fylde with mother Tracy, and now lives in Manchester with her fiance Matt Sarsfield, gave birth to their first child Noah in January.

Charlotte Dawson shares touching tribute to her dad image @charlottedawsy Instagram

The couple have regularly kept fans up to date on their journey into parenthood through social media and Charlotte was touched by the hundreds of supportive messages she received after recreating the picture.

Charlotte, 28, says that honouring her father is always the forefront of her mind, as she spends quality time with her little boy.

In the Instagram caption with the photograph, she wrote: “So I’ve wanted to reenact this picture for so long of baba me & my daddy with me & my Noah in my dad’s dressing gown which I still wear.

“I wish he was here so bad. He would be the best grandad to him, it breaks my heart so much.

“But I can’t wait for Noah to get to know all about his grandad Les… I know you’re around, but sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. I want you here.”

One poster responded: “Your dad brings back so many happy memories of my childhood with my mum and dad who have both now passed too. I’m sure he is keeping all the angels in heaven entertained.”

Another fan added: “Charlotte, I can’t even begin to explain how inspiring you are. Every day I look at your posts and you put a smile on my face! Your Dad will be so so proud of the woman you’ve become.”

Blackpool entertainer Joey Blower’s prostate cancer diagnosis as he embarks on male awareness campaign

In Your Area - LancsLive

“If just one person goes to my show and then goes to book a test I know I’m doing something right.”

58-year-old Blackpool entertainer Joey Blower

58-year-old Blackpool entertainer Joey Blower (Image: Joey Blower)

Blackpool entertainer Joey Blower has been entertaining audiences, young and old in the town, since 1993.

Originally from Stockport, the 58-year-old has become a well-loved comedy legend and his shows, though a bit naughty and cheeky at times, aim to be truthful and honest often “telling it like is it.”

During his career of almost 30 years in the town, he raised close to a million pounds for different charities.

This includes over £210,000 given to Cancer Research and £38,000 to Jack Rigby, the son of Lee Rigby.

Comedians often draw on their own painful and personal experiences to tell their stories on stage and now the dad-of-two, who has a four-year-old and an older son, is drawing upon his own experience using his comic skills and his platform to get out a very serious message to a much wider audience.

Around six weeks ago, Joey rather unexpectedly found out he had prostate cancer and has had a rather unique journey in the lead up to his diagnosis – so much so that there aspects that he would now like to highlight to raise awareness.

Around two years ago the entertainer went on holiday with his family to Thailand and came across an offer for the equivalent of £50 for 18 different kinds of blood tests.

Comedian Joey Blower has raised almost £1m for different charities in his career

Comedian Joey Blower has raised almost £1m for different charities in his career (Image: Joey Blower)

Everything came back fine however he was told his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels produced by his prostate were high which could be an indication of cancer.

“This was completely contradictory to what I was told abroad and now looking back I realised I should have had an MRI scan a lot earlier on because a scan eventually revealed undefinable growth,” Joey told LancsLive.

“They gave me a choice of whether to go for a biopsy or choose for it to be maintained.”

“I think to be given this choice was a mistake as most men are going to choose for it to be maintained and looking back I should have gone for the biopsy. ”

Blackpool comedian Joey Blower on stage

Blackpool comedian Joey Blower on stage (Image: Joey Blower)

Joey’s cancer diagnosis didn’t come until around six weeks ago when he visited the Ear, Nose and Throat department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital about an ulcer at the back of this throat.

Whilst at his appointment he was asked about what medication he was on and when Joey answered about high blood pressure the doctor then asked ‘what about your prostate cancer?’.

Joey stated he hadn’t had the results back yet to which the doctor told him his PSA levels were very high at 11.1.

After a call to the Urology department, it was revealed that Joey did in fact have prostate cancer and the hospital apologised for the way he found out.

Joey said: “I was initially shocked and upset and it was very distressing having to go home and tell my family. I’ve accepted what’s happened however and I honestly can’t say anything bad about the hospital as they’ve been wonderful.

“I’m now working as an ambassador with staff there to raise an awareness for prostate cancer.

“I don’t attach any blame to the amazing hospital staff for what happened but I think generally, when people are getting test results for any kind of cancer, there should be something like a red sticker on the files to show that the results haven’t been disclosed to the patient yet.”

Joey with Irish comedian Frank Carson

Joey with Irish comedian Frank Carson (Image: Joey Blower)

The comedian is now on a mission to raise awareness of prostate cancer as before his diagnosis he had no symptoms at all.

Joey came up with a simple, low cost, but effective idea to bring it into awareness.

As every public toilet has a male symbol at the entrance, Joey recognised that if this character was wearing a badge or it was underlined with ‘prostate cancer awareness’ followed by questions such as ‘do you know the symptoms’ it would get into the public consciousness a lot more.

Together with a sticker of symptoms placed either over or a sink or a urinal , the men’s toilets seems the best place to start and Joey approached Prostate Cancer UK with this idea .

Unfortunately the organisation said is not in a position to be able to implement this on a wide scale, particularly due to Covid-19, however they were more than happy to provide the logo if it was something he could begin.

Prostate Cancer UK logo

Prostate Cancer UK logo

Joey added: “I’m sure that service stations, football clubs, councils and many others would happily get involved even hospitals. There are campaigns like this which have worked amazingly such as the pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness.

“I think a large part of the problem is the symptoms of prostate cancer can be particularly embarrassing. Men don’t want to necessarily talk about erectile dysfunctions, dry cum, urinary and excremental leakage.

“The doctor’s finger up the bum is also something men don’t want to go through however it lasts 30 seconds and can save your life.

“There’s also a misconception that prostate cancer is nothing to worry about because it’s so treatable. This is not the case and the treatment can have horrendous side effects similar to what to what woman in the menopause go through.

“Removal of your prostate is certainly no free lunch either. It’s vital that more men from around the age of 50 onwards need to go and get tested and start talking about their symptoms.”

After exploring every treatment available for his stage of cancer it has been agreed that Proton Beam Therapy is the best option for Joey’s quality of life post surgery.

This treatment is likely to cost in excess of £40,000 so a JustGiving page has been set up to try and raise funds so he can go to Prague for the treatment.

The target has been set a lot lower at £25,000 and anything that goes above will go to his four-year-old daughter Olivia to secure her future as there is always a worry that a secondary cancer could come back.

The entertainer feels more embarrassed about the page being set up and accepting donations however than he does talking about his own symptoms.

Joey Blower with cheque for Cancer Research for over £28,000

Joey Blower with cheque for Cancer Research for over £28,000 (Image: Joey Blower)

Joey said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and to be honest, I was quite embarrassed by the page being set up but so many people have made donations and contributed that it would be disrespectful for me not to accept.

“To be honest, it’s more about raising awareness and the lovely messages I’ve been sent for me which have kept going.

“Although prostate cancer isn’t a funny subject I have worked it into my shows and want to highlight in a humorous but hard hitting way.

“So far I’ve had around 20 people who have heard my story and gone to get tested. If just one person goes to my show and then goes to book a test I know I’m doing something right.”

To find out more about Joey’s prostate awareness campaign, and to donate to the cost of his Proton Beam Therapy, please visit the Just Giving Page here justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joeyblower1.

What happens in Las Vegas comes to Blackpool for Netflix promotion of new zombie blockbuster Army of the Dead

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A PR stunt for Netflix’s new $90 million Las Vegas-set Zombie thriller, Army of the Dead, came to the so-called Vegas of the North ahead of its premiere today.

Teaming up with resort graffiti artist Christian Fenn – aka Seca One – production crews dropped a shipping container on Blackpool Promenade to replicate a zombie escape.

Tagged with slogans from the flick, directed by Dawn of the Dead and Man of Steel’s Zack Synder and starring Dave Bautista and Ella Purnell, the container was said to once house the dead – before they clambered out.

The invasion will begin on the Comedy Carpet between 11am and 5pm on Saturday May and Sunday.

Christian, helped by fellow resort artist Graham ‘Moz’ Morriss, said: “We had two hours to get the design completed. We started early doors and the rain was washing the paint down the sides. It was madness; typical lovely Blackpool weather.

“Luckily I had Moz to help get it all done and work on all the lettering but it’s great to be involved as local artists.

“We could have gone heavy on the zombies and the gore but we wanted to bring more of a Vegas slant and, yeah, we smashed it in the end.”
Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Comedy Carpet to promote new Netflix movie Army of the Dead.Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Comedy Carpet to promote new Netflix movie Army of the Dead.

Snyder, who also produced Army of the Dead, which is available to stream from tomorrow May 21, said: “It’s a charred, weathered husk of a broken world.”

The film was 10 years in the making – after Snyder got the idea after finishing his Dawn of the Dead remake.

“I had so much fun with the genre and it just really got it in my head that I should try to push even further,” Synder said.

Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Comedy Carpet.Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Comedy Carpet.

“So I started thinking about scenarios that would be interesting to me, like a mission-based concept. I knew I wanted the zombie plague to be contained, so I had this idea of building a wall around Las Vegas and the rest grew out of that.”

Critics have so far praised the film, which has been certified ‘fresh’ by review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, with average scores of 74 per cent from professional critics and 79 per cent from audiences.

“Snyder shoots with a blockbuster strut and plots like a 14-year-old raiding their parents’ drinks cabinet,” the Financial Times said.

Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Blackpool Comedy CarpetGraffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Blackpool Comedy Carpet

Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Comedy Carpet.Graffiti artists Christian Seca One and Graham Morriss working on a crate on the Comedy Carpet.

 

Tiny wine bars, big rides and huge hopes: What Blackpool has waiting for visitors next week

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“We’re really looking forward to be welcoming guests as soon as possible, I think everyone needs a glass of wine after this year! ”

The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire. Picture date: Friday April 2, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire. (Image: PA)

Blackpool is set to welcome back visitors to its bars, theatres and attractions on May 17 following a government announcement that remaining restrictions on the town’s tourism industry can be safely lifted.

The next step of the Prime Minister’s roadmap is now for indoor hospitality and attractions to reopen along with show venues, hotels and guesthouses.

The past 15 months has seen Blackpool face its biggest challenges in a long history of successful tourism.

Even throughout the first and second world wars the town attractions could largely remain open as a form of escapism for both locals and visitors.

The coronavirus pandemic however has meant many bars, pubs and hotels have been unable to accommodate customers, rendering its beach and promenades uncharacteristically quiet.

Sadly some businesses have not made it to the other side of lockdown, with the financial burden too great. However for some, the down time has been an opportunity to renovate and create.

Amazing lockdown transformation at Lemmy's Bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
Amazing lockdown transformation at Lemmy’s Bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool (Image: Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool)

Waterloo Music Bar in Waterloo Road has had a particularly hard time after it failed to secure government funding to help it get through the Covid crisis.

Throughout the pandemic loyal customers and musicians have joined a campaign to save the bar from closure with Music Venue Trust getting involved.

Staff have come up with all kinds of creative ideas from selling merchandise to wild and wonderful ideas for virtual events to help raise funds after a year with no income.

Lockdown provided the opportunity to add to the already meticulously decorated bar and its infamous Motorhead-themed Lemmy’s bar.

Owner Ian Fletcher said: “The Waterloo Music Bar can’t wait to open it’s doors again on May 17, and our team are very excited to welcome everyone back to see what we have been doing through lockdown.

“We have the one and only Lemmy’s Motorhead-themed bar in the UK and our entire venue is packed with music memorabilia and artwork. We can only operate at reduced capacity from May until June 21, which means our early gigs are mostly sold out, but we have an epic year of music coming up, just checkout our website for dates and tickets.”

International graffiti and street artist, Chris Fenn AKA Seca One Art, has painted a spectacularly colourful mural of grapes and flowers on the front Nook Wine bar set to open in May 2020
International graffiti and street artist, Chris Fenn AKA Seca One Art, has painted a spectacularly colourful mural of grapes and flowers on the front Nook Wine bar set to open in May 2020 (Image: Nook Wine Bar)

Lockdown also saw the creation of the town’s smallest wine bar. Tucked away down Cheapside, a former sandwich shop, the Hideaway, was transformed into Nook wine bar, a small but mightynew bar for 2021.

Spectacularly painted with a colourful mural by Blackpool’s International graffiti and street artist Seca One Art, the bar will not be just another “stuffy wine gaff” and will be focusing on serving premium and unique wines from all around the world.

Owner Jake Whittington, who also owns Dirty Blondes and Paradise Coast said: “Nook will be Blackpool’s first wine and charcuterie venue, so there’s a lot of excitement, and pressure, around the project.

“The tired old building has had to have extensive work done for such a small place. We were really aiming to get open for the 17th, but we may be running a couple of weeks behind.

“Opening a bar in lockdown is a challenge to say the least, suppliers and contractors are running at a reduced capacity so it certainly makes for an interesting time! We’re really looking forward to be welcoming guests as soon as possible, I think everyone needs a glass of wine after this year! ”

Madame Tussauds, Blackpool during lockdown two
Madame Tussauds, Blackpool during lockdown two (Image: This is influential)

Excitement is building at the news that some of Blackpool’s biggest and longstanding attractions will be able to welcome customers back including the Tower, the Dungeons and Madame Tussauds.

After operating at a reduced capacity at times the well-loved destinations had to close completely during the third national lockdown.

Now the iconic landmarks can begin to come back to life.

Kate Shane, Head of the Blackpool Cluster for Merlin Entertainments, said: “We’ve been counting down the days until we can reopen our doors at The Blackpool Tower attractions, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds, so it’s great to have the green light for this to go ahead.

“Our teams are overjoyed to be back and this week they are busy with final preparations for our attractions opening on the May 17 alongside final rehearsals for The Blackpool Tower Dungeons and Circus which open on Saturday May 22.

“We have all been separated from our families and friends for over 12 months, so we simply can’t wait to reconnect loved ones and help them make magical new memories together.

“Our attractions were created for fun, so we’re counting down the days until we can see the smiles and hear the laughter of our guests once more.”


Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach will also be able to get back to normal with visitors able to experience more fun at the fair.

After re-opening on April 12 it has been receiving guests on a daily basis however the lifting of restrictions means its guests can enjoy more.

A Spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach said: From 17th May we will be able to reopen our both of our hotels, The Big Blue and The Boulevard, which will see many more visitors coming to the resort.

“In addition to this the White Tower restaurant and our indoor attractions Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Pasaje Del Terror and will open again and provide much more for our guests to enjoy.”

For more information on where to visit in Blackpool come May 17, please visit Visit Blackpool.

Blackpool’s Jenna Coleman to star in Winston Churchill-inspired TV drama The War Rooms

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The Doctor Who and Emmerdale actress will be playing a main role in the new show produced by Oscar-winner David Parfitt

Jenna, who hails from Blackpool, started her career in ITV soap Emmerdale and recently starred in The Serpent.
Jenna, who hails from Blackpool, started her career in ITV soap Emmerdale and recently starred in The Serpent. (Image: Ian West/PA Wire)

A Lancashire actor and former Doctor Who star is due to star in a Second World War drama.

Jenna Coleman will play the role of Joan Bright, who ran Winston Churchill’s Whitehall bunker during in the war and is believed to be the inspiration for Miss Moneypenny in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.

Blackpool-born Coleman, who recently featured in BBC’s The Serpent, where she played a leading role, will be working with David Parfitt on the Churchill-inspired drama, called The War Rooms.

Oscar-winning producer Parfitt, who famously worked on the feature film Shakespeare in Love, is due to deliver The War Rooms through London-based Trademark Films and UK-US company Atlantic Nomad.

Based on Bright’s memoir The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top, the drama will follow Bright as she works underground during the war.

Each series will cover some 12 to 18 months of the world war from inside Churchill’s major operations, from Dunkirk, to the Battle of Britain and D-Day.

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“Joan Bright was never going to live a conventional life a young woman who lived her war days under the official secrets act, undercover and underground in the war rooms,” Coleman told film publication Deadline.

“This story is so compelling not only because of her unique and liberal mind, wryness of spirit and curiosity to live, but because of the opportunity to examine this endlessly fascinating period of time through an intimate and human lens.

“The closeness and proximity of days and nights lived within this small space, the carriers of the truth amidst the oblivion of propaganda above.

“The beauty and fragility of human connection when living through a time when no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

“I’m so excited to unearth these hidden lives and at a time where it feels so shockingly relevant right now.”

Jenna Coleman appeared in Emmerdale as Jasmine Thomas and now you can see her in The Serpent
Jenna Coleman appeared in Emmerdale as Jasmine Thomas and now you can see her in The Serpent

Jenna-Louise Coleman (now more commonly known simply as Jenna Coleman) was born in Blackpool on April, 26, 1986, the daughter of Karen and Keith Coleman. She has an older brother named Ben.

She was actually given her name by her grandma who named her partially after Jenna Wade, a character in the popular American soap Dallas. It seems that, even at birth, Jenna was destined for stardom.

She attended Arnold School in Blackpool, where she was head girl and played an active role in the regional theatre company In Yer Space. When she was only 10 years old, Jenna played the role of Bridesmaid in the play Summer Holiday.

At 18, she had a starring role in the play Crystal Clear at the Edinburgh Festival for which she won an award.

It was then that her professional career began after producers approached her to take part in ITV soap Emmerdale. Jenna turned down a place at the University of York studying English to take up the role of Jasmine Thomas in 2005.

Jenna’s portrayal of the teen was well received by critics and she scooped several award nominations during her tenure on the soap.

The new drama is based on the war room of Sir Winston Churchill.
The new drama is based on the war room of Sir Winston Churchill. (Image: AP)

At the National Television Awards 2006, she was nominated for the Most Popular Newcomer award and received a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2007 British Soap Awards.

At the 2009 British Soap Awards, Jenna was nominated for the Best Actress, Sexiest Female, and Best Dramatic Performance awards. She also received a nomination for the “Best Actress” award from the TV Choice Awards.

In the spring of 2009, joined Waterloo Road, as Lindsay James and subsequently left Emmerdale.

After several roles in BBC dramas, Jenna made her feature film debut in 2011 after she appeared briefly in the Marvel hit Captain America: The First Avenger as a woman called Connie.

Jenna’s big break came in 2012 when she was cast in Doctor Who. Then producer Steven Moffat confirmed at a press conference that the Blackpool actor would play the companion of the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, having previously appeared in a one-off role in the show.

Playing the role of Clara Oswald, Jenna was a regular feature on the BBC sci-fi show, acting alongside Matt Smith, and his successor Peter Capaldi.

Jenna left Doctor Who in 2015, ready to embark on her biggest role yet, that of Queen Victoria in an eight-part ITV drama.

Jenna Coleman stars as Queen Victoria I.
Jenna Coleman stars as Queen Victoria I. (Image: ITV)

For Jenna this was a turning point in her career. When interviewed for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Coleman argued that this role meant she was able to break out of her supposed ‘box’ as a northern working-class character that Emmerdale put her in.

In 2016 Jenna played a major role in Me Before You, acting alongside Game of Thrones stars Emilia Clarke and Charles Dance.

She has since featured in four series of the ITV drama about Queen Victoria and was most recently involved in the Netflix and BBC drama The Serpent, a dramatisation of the life of convicted serial killer Charles Sobhraj.

She is currently on set for an upcoming feature film called Klokkenluider (Dutch for whistleblower) after filming began in late February.

The War Rooms will be penned by Moving On’s David Chidlow and produced by Parfitt, who just won two Oscars for The Father.

Bright, who was the former girlfriend of James Bond author Ian Fleming, was awarded an OBE in 1946 for her work during the war and died in 2008.

Coleen Nolan is ‘hurt and angry’ after latest heartbreak

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“I was so hurt and angry,” the star revealed

Coleen Nolan has opened up on her latest heartbreak
Coleen Nolan has opened up on her latest heartbreak (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Coleen Nolan has revealed she was left hurt and angry after her latest heartbreak.

The Blackpool-born star opened up on her relationship with her lover who she says broke up with her as he couldn’t “handle who she was”.

The Loose Women star, 56, opted to keep the man’s identity a secret when she first revealed the relationship last year.

The pair had met on a dating app and only saw each other twice in person before the lockdown.

However, Coleen admitted how she ended up “falling for him” – but then things started to go wrong.

She revealed: “I really started to fall for him and I couldn’t wait to see him.

“But then as lockdown started lifting, he was meant to pick me up, but the day before he went weird on the texting front.”

She added to OK! magazine : “I asked why he wasn’t replying and he told me he really liked me, but couldn’t handle who I was. I was so hurt and angry.”

Even though she was hurt by the breakup, the star couldn’t “say a bad thing about him”.

She insisted that the age difference of eight years wasn’t the reason they parted ways.

Coleen reflected on the decision and what could have changed his mind, before saying “he probably was a bit scared that he couldn’t adapt to my lifestyle”.

Back in January, the TV host revealed that she worried she might be ‘too old for him’.

In one of her weekly newsletters for The Mirror, Coleen explained they had spoken about the age gap but it didn’t seem to be a problem.

She wrote: “I’ve had this discussion with the man I’m seeing.

“He’s 47 and I’m 55 and, although there are only eight years between us, I have moments of worrying I’m a bit too old for him.

“On the other hand, we both have a similar outlook and are in the same place in our lives. He’s divorced with children, as am I, so we have a lot in common, too.”

 

Gogglebox’ Sophie and Pete Sandiford popularity compared to the rest of the cast

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Siblings Pete and Sophie Sandiford from Blackpool are firm favourites on the show.

Sophie and Pete Sandiford from Gogglebox
Sophie and Pete Sandiford from Gogglebox (Image: Channel 4)

We all have our favourites when it comes to Gogglebox.

And with the Channel 4 show featuring two of our own from Lancashire, it’s not hard to see why they’d be up there on our list.

The entire cast has been ranked by viewers, from the least to most popular.

However some fans have taken issue with the judgements, as the ranking is proving pretty controversial.

The hilarious show airs each Friday night on Channel 4 at 9pm, as the cast give their verdict on the weekly telly.

Siblings Pete and Sophie Sandiford from Blackpool are firm favourites on the show.

Eleven families were ranked by viewers of the sofa favourite, which airs each Friday night on Channel 4 at 9pm, reports Birmingham Live.

Now, it is worth noting, before we continue, that only 11 families were ranked – so if your favourite is a secondary cast member who does not feature regularly, they may not appear below.

It is also worth noting this is not the opinion of Reach PLC, but instead, based on votes from viewers who regularly tune in.

11. The Vens

Mica, boyfriend Marcus and her two daughters Sachelle and Shuggy first joined the show in 2018.

The south Londoners joined Gogglebox in series 11 and were ranked last in the vote last year, but we reckon they’ve surely jumped a few places this season.

The pair feature regularly – and have us chuckling with their brilliant chemistry.

10. The Michaels

Controversially to some, the Brighton family ranked higher than Mica and Marcus.

The Michael family had a brief break during their stint on the show but are now back all together.

Dad Andrew, mum Carolyne and son Louis are among the family members to feature.

Louis’ sister Alex appeared as well, as has her twin Catheryne.

9. Stephen Webb

Daniel Lustig and Stepehn Webb (Image: Channel 4)

Stephen Webb has featured alongside his husband Daniel, his former flatmate Chris and his mum ever since series one.

He is the longest serving cast member.

Recently, he thrilled people with his dramatic new hairstyle.

And he also birthed the meme ‘yeah, but not a terrorist, Chris’.

8. Dave and Shirley

Ah, the Welsh couple have stolen our hearts ever since their debut.

Welsh couple Dave and Shirley have been married for 40 years and have two children together.

They joined the show in 2015.

7. Ellie and Izzy

Gogglebox sisters Ellie and Izzi
Gogglebox sisters Ellie and Izzi (Image: Instagram)

This is massively controversial.

They are a popular pair and regularly amuse viewers with their back and forth banter and obsession with food.

They both have thousands of followers on social media.

But the pair only rank seventh.

6. Mary and Marina

OAPs Mary and Marina are both in their 80s and live in a retirement home together in Bristol.

They have become popular for their sense of humour and frank comments about men and relationships, while often getting distracted talking about their love lives.

5. The Siddiquis

If we’re honest, the Siddiqui family would be our number one.

The East Midlands family are brilliant – and their chemistry is undeniable.

The close knit family always entertain us with their brilliant takes.

4. The Malones

The Malones and their dogs are one of the show’s biggest families (Image: Channel 4)

The Malone family have lost a member for the current series, with Tom Jr stepping away.

But that has not stopped them regularly featuring.

Since joining the show back in series four, the Malone family are known for blunt, no-nonsense remarks, enviable snack selection and their adorable dogs who aren’t camera shy.

3. Giles and Mary

Giles and Mary – or ‘Nutty’, as her husband calls her – are well known in the Gogglebox fan circles.

The couple’s home and sense of style is instantly recognisable, particularly Mary’s botanical armchair which matches the wallpaper.

2. Pete and Sophie

We expected Pete and Sophie to finish first and second – and so it proved.

The Blackpool duo are a close knit pair of siblings, with Sophie losing her job last year and being supported by viewers.

Pete, meanwhile, is set to get married and become a dad.

The duo are the envy of the nation with their mug collection.

1. Jenny and Lee

Gogglebox stars Jenny and Lee (Image: Channel 4)

Jenny’s AC12 notes during Line of Duty won the hearts of the nation – and were enough to seal first spot.

The pals met in a pub where Jenny was the landlady and Lee was a regular.

They share a Twitter account which has amassed more than 129,000 followers and shows the comical friends sharing their exploits outside of filming.

 

Linda Nolan told she had cancer hours before brave pantomime performance

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“I was dressed as the Wicked Queen so it was a bit of a worry for them when I walked in!”

Linda was first diagnosed in 2006
Linda was first diagnosed in 2006

Linda Nolan was told she had cancer after a matinee panto show before bravely going back to work in the evening.

The 62-year-old, who continues to fight the disease, ­received her diagnosis while dressed as the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Five days later, she was arranging her mastectomy.

Linda, raised in Blackpool and later found fame with her sisters in 1970s group The Nolans, told ­radio host Andy Jaye how she hid her fears from her co-stars and the audience.

She said: “I was in Belfast doing pantomime and I had to go for my results in ­between shows on the Friday.

“I was dressed as the Wicked Queen so it was a bit of a worry for them when I walked in!

“I was told then it was breast cancer. It was stage three, and I’d have to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

“I remember as he [the doctor] was saying these things, I’m looking down on him. The minute he said the word ‘cancer’, it was as if I’d left the room.

“My ­husband Brian was there and he was going greyer by the second. In fact, they had to give him water and not me. He was so devastated.

“He said to me when we got outside – and I obviously cried – ‘Shall I call them and tell them you can’t come in for the second show?’

“And I said, ‘No, we’ve got two nights left, nobody can really do the part I am doing because they don’t do understudies in panto, and it won’t make any difference to the diagnosis’.

“I said, ‘The only thing is, you cannot be standing in the wings ­because if I see you, it will be like a reality check and I will cry’.

“So I went and did the last three shows and we had a party after the one on Saturday.

“By the Thursday, I had an appointment to have the mastectomy.

“It was three days before my birthday.”

Linda – who has recently written a book called Stronger Together with her sister Anne, who also has cancer – was first diagnosed with the disease in 2006.

The following year she lost her husband to skin cancer.

After a fall in 2017, Linda discovered her cancer had spread to her pelvis, before learning it was in her liver last year.

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens reopening date confirmed after months of closure

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The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is set to welcome visitors once more as preparations get underway to reopen its doors.

Plans have been revealed for the reopening, which has been confirmed to take place on Monday (May 17).

It means the public will be able to enjoy the iconic building once more, after months of lockdown restrictions which left the building closed since the November lockdown.

The Box Office and Mazzei Cafe are set to reopen on Monday, along with The Old Victoria Bar featuring live entertainment daily.

Bosses have also confirmed that live socially distanced events will return from May 30 including comedy, live music, family shows and more, while venue tours will return from June 1.

The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme featuring a wide range of events including family favourites the Twirlywoo’s and Alice in Wonderland.

A range of live comedy events are set to be held from May 30, including Jongulers presenting Laugh Out Loud which will feature Shaun Williamson, Bobby Davro and Billy Pearce, followed in June by Britain’s Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay with his first live appearance since being crowned champion.

The Old Victoria Bar, formally Gillow’s, will feature live entertainment throughout the day and will offer a wide selection of drinks and classic pub food.

Over in the Mazzei Café, packages including afternoon tea are available to pre-book on the venue’s website.

Closed for more than 12-months, a Box Office counter service reopens from 11am on Monday, allowing customers to book in person. The box office will be open daily from 11am – 3pm.

Bosses have confirmed that there will be a return to capacity events in-line with the governments roadmap from June.

To mark this, there will be the return of Blackpool Rocks, Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals, Classic Northern Soul Night, Six The Musical and more.

Michael Williams, Managing Director, said: “It will be a huge relief to reopen the doors and welcome people back inside the Winter Gardens Blackpool, after a most challenging 12 months. Everyone at the venue has worked tirelessly to open at the earliest opportunity with a fantastic programme of live events.

“I believe that Blackpool is set for a bumper summer and we are ready to play an integral role in welcoming visitors safely from across the UK and play our part in the recovery of tourism in Blackpool.”

The Winter Gardens has been awarded the Visit England “We’re good to go” Industry Standard. This confirms that the Winter Gardens Blackpool meets the Government and Public Health Guidance on COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for guests.

The venue also has its own ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign in place which will see the introduction of a wide range of new policies to ensure the safety of its guests.

The new ‘Safe and Sound’ plans include the limiting of capacity with unoccupied seating between groups, temperature checks on arrival and contactless experiences amongst a range of new and enhanced policies.

Here is exactly what you can expect s the Winter Gardens reopens its doors:

Mazzei Café

The Mazzei Café will reopen on Monday, May 17 from 11am – 3pm.

Thereafter open daily excluding Monday and Fridays until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Afternoon Tea is available to pre order now.

Box Office

Counter service from the Church Street box office returns from Monday, May 17.

Open 7-days from 11am until 3pm.

The Old Victoria Bar

The Old Victoria Bar will reopen on Saturday, May 22 from 11am featuring live entertainment throughout the day.

Thereafter open weekends until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Socially Distanced events

A wide range of Live socially distanced events return from May 30 including comedy, family shows and live music all adhering to all government guidelines including social distancing.

For further information, tickets and to make bookings or reservations visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.

Danny MacAskill heads to Blackpool Beach and an abandoned quarry for his new film

The Scotsman looks to appeal to "whole of Scotland" with new design |  Design Week

Scottish stunt cycle sensation Danny MacAskill has revealed a new film made on Blackpool Beach and at an abandoned sandstone quarry.

Danny MacAskill on Blackpool Beach. Picture: Dave MackisonDanny MacAskill on Blackpool Beach. Picture: Dave Mackison

He has joined forces with fellow Scottish stunt rider Kriss Kyle to create a six and a half minute showcase of their favourite tricks.

They used the street furniture of Blackpool’s promenade after abandoning plans to film in Scotland last September due to a bad weather forecast.

Woodland trails and sandstone quarry cliffs at Nescliffe, in Shropshire, which MacAskill described as a perfect “playground” for filming, were also deployed.

The new film, This and That, is one of three made by MacAskill during the pandemic and has been released months after the street trials superstar returned to Skye to make a film riding down vast concrete slabs.

MacAskill, who shot to fame with a 2009 film made on the streets of Edinburgh, said: “One of my old flatmates used to live in Blackpool so I had ridden the streets a couple of times before.

“The promenade has wide open public space, with a lot of different features, various walls and randoms bits of concrete.

“We made the film last September when you could still move around the UK.

“The weather wasn’t looking good in Scotland so we decided we decided to go down to Blackpool to film there for a couple of days, and also film at a sandstone quarry. We all ended up living down in Wales for around six months.

“It was a lot of fun as Kriss Kyle is an absolutely world-class rider. We have done lots of different filming projects separately over the years but this is the first time we’ve ever collaborated on one. We wanted to make a kind of mix and match film.

“Nesscliffe isn’t really known as somewhere you would go with your bike, they’re really just known as cool local woods.

“There’s an old sandstone quarry where these big holes have been dug out in the ground.

“Over the years they’ve just been filled up with topsoil from the cliffs and dead leaves. It has made it into a real playground for making a film. We lucked out – we couldn’t have asked for a better location.

“If you went there and really worked on it you could turn it into a giant dirt skatepark.

“It was actually quite nice crashing onto the dirt, it was quite soft. You could afford to have some quite big crashes on it, which Kriss and I definitely took advantage of.

“We had set ourselves five days for filming as we were shooting two other films. Sometimes it can take four days to do a couple of really technical tricks, so to we were really happy to get a full film in the can in that time.Danny MacAskill in Blackpool. Picture: Dave MackisonDanny MacAskill in Blackpool. Picture: Dave Mackison

“We really wanted to make something fun which would inspire other people to go out on their bike and play about, especially kids.”

MacAskill, whose home island is notorious for its midge swarms, revealed the filming crew had to battle problems with sandflies in the woods.

He added: “Kriss and I were always on the move so we weren’t really affected, but the crew all got their ankles munched. They sometimes had to stand in the same place for an hour or so for a specific trick.”

This and That is one of three films made by Danny MacAskill last September. Picture: Dave Mackison
This and That is one of three films made by Danny MacAskill last September. Picture: Dave Mackison

This and That was made in Blackpool last September. Picture: Dave Mackison
This and That was made in Blackpool last September. Picture: Dave Mackison

An abandoned sandstone quarry in Shropshire has been used by Danny MacAskill for his new video. Picture: Dave Mackison
An abandoned sandstone quarry in Shropshire has been used by Danny MacAskill for his new video. Picture: Dave Mackison

BMX star Kriss Kyle has collaborated with Danny MacAskill on the new video. Picture: Dave Mackison
BMX star Kriss Kyle has collaborated with Danny MacAskill on the new video. Picture: Dave Mackison

This and That was filmed on Blackpool Beach last September. Picture: Dave Mackison
This and That was filmed on Blackpool Beach last September. Picture: Dave Mackison

It is hoped that the new film will encourage youngsters to head out on four wheels. Picture: Dave Mackison
It is hoped that the new film will encourage youngsters to head out on four wheels. Picture: Dave Mackison