Category Archives: Stars

From Blackpool’s Grange Park to Top of the Pops, Maddy Prior’s heading back to the coast

Home | Blackpool Gazette

When Maddy Prior performs at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall next month with her band Steeleye Span, it will be something of a Fylde coast homecoming for the long-established folk singer.

 

Maddy Prior is performing in Fleetwood with Steeleye Span

Maddy Prior is performing in Fleetwood with Steeleye Span

Maddy, who shot to fame with the band in the 1970s, when it had hit singles and albums, grew up on Blackpool’s Grange Park estate until the family left for St Albans when she was aged 11.

Her dad, Allan Prior, worked for the Gazette for a while back in the 1950s and later was the co-creator of police drama Z Cars.

After moving south, she eventually became involved in the folk music scene and was a founder member of Steeleye Span, which is still going strong after 21 studio albums.

The band were among England’s folk rock pioneers, powered by Maddy’s unmistakeable soaring vocals.

The latest tour is a Covid-delayed 50th anniversary celebration of the band’s influential folk rock debut album, Hark the Village Wait, which came out in 1970.

It paved the way for later hit singles Gaudete and All Round My Hat, which saw the band perform on Top of the Pops.

Maddy, 74, who received the MBE in 2001 and now lives near Carlisle, said: “We lived in a prefab house on Draycot Avenue when I was young.

“My dad wrote reviews for The Gazette and we had to buy a TV so he could watch the things he actually wrote about. We were one of the first on the estate to have a TV!

“I also have vivid memories of waiting for buses in the freezing cold bus station at Talbot Square.

“I liked it in Blackpool and when we moved to St Albans, me and the locals had a few issues understanding each other at first.”

Maddy was not a fan of folk music in those days, preferring Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

But later , when she was in her late teens, she became influenced by Bob Dyan and Joan Baez.

Maddy recalls: “We knew some American musicians and when I tried singing American folk they told me I was bad at it and should sing English folk songs!

“And that’s the direction we ended up going in.”

Maddy has vivid memories of singing Gaudete, a 16th century carol, on Top of the Pops.

“I don’t think they’d had someone singing in Latin on the programme before!

“They wanted us to mime, which we weren’t happy about, and we had to prance around carrying candles.”

Remarkably, the song reached number 14 in the British singles charts in 1973, while two years later, the jaunty All Round My Hat reached number 5 and the album of the same name was a big seller as well.

Maddy, who has enjoyed a successful solo career and worked with other acts, including the acoustic Carnival Band with whom she will be performing in Lytham in December, added: “We never wanted to become famous, we just wanted to play the music we loved and make a decent living at it.

“But being on Top of the Pops was a big deal in those days.

“You never really knew if a record would make an impact until you’d heard it on radio, because they’d compress the sound and it would either work or it wouldn’t.”

Maddy is looking forward to return to the Fylde coast and will spend some time seeing her longest-established friends , Marilyn and Dennis, who now live in Pilling.

Maddy and the band will perform at the Fleetwood venue on on Thursday, October 7, from 7.30pm. The box office is on 01253 887693.

 

 

How you can see the Red Arrows when they return to Blackpool this weekend

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The world famous Red Arrows are back in Blackpool this weekend (September 11 & 12) for another flying visit to the Fylde Coast.

The Red Arrows are returning to Blackpool this weekend (September 11 & 12)

The Red Arrows are returning to Blackpool this weekend (September 11 & 12)

The Reds are not here to perform on this occasion, but are just stopping off on their return from Friday’s International Sanicole Airshow in Belgium.

But you can still catch a glimpse of them at Blackpool Airport, where they will arrive in style on Saturday afternoon (see exact times below).

The famous fleet will stay at Hangar Three before they return to their home station at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire on Sunday morning.

How, when and where can we see the Red Arrows?

– They will arrive at Blackpool Airport at 4.18pm on Saturday (September 11)

– They will depart the airport at 10.14am on Sunday (September 12)

– The airport isn’t open to the general public but you can view them from the perimeter fence near Morrisons in Squires Gate Lane.

– You can also watch them arrive in style from the sand dunes at Squires Gate.

What do Blackpool Airport say?

A spokesman for Blackpool Airport told the Gazette: “This weekend the Red Arrows are back for a quick stop off at Hangar Three at Blackpool Airport.

“They’ll be arriving Saturday, September 11 at 4.18pm and departing Sunday September 12 at 10.14am.

“The airport isn’t open to the general public but you can catch a glimpse of them at the perimeter fence near Morrisons or from our lovely sand dunes at Squires Gate!”

 

Blackpool is at the heart of the ball as Cinderella, filmed in the resort, premieres on Amazon Prime today

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A fashionable new take on the old, perennial fairytale of Cinderella – which filmed in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom – premieres on the streaming platform Amazon Prime from today.

 

Kay Cannon, Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine behind the scenes of the movie  filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom  Amazon Pictures

Kay Cannon, Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine behind the scenes of the movie filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom Amazon Pictures

The story has undergone live-action treatment – again – in the new feminist-friendly Kay Cannon musical starring international pop sensation Camila Cabello.

But film-lovers will not be able to view the new movie on the big screen in the resort, with only Reel Cinemas showing viewings in Chorley and Morecambe.

Sony Pictures sold the rights to Amazon in May and the film is one of many moved to streaming services amid ongoing box office uncertainty.

In the new version, produced and starring James Corden, Cinderella is an aspiring dress designer who does not want to stay confined to her stepmother’s basement or a royal life and instead has her sights set on being the next ‘girlboss.’

The tale, which includes a genderless fairy godmother, has a cast including Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Idina Menzel, and Billy Porter, with Nicholas Galitzine playing Prince Robert.

The soundtrack is a mash-up of remixed pop classics and original songs performed by Cabello and cast, including Menzel, who is best known for her voice of Princess Elsa in Frozen.

Cinderella began filming in 2020 with the cast in the resort during the March for the ball scenes, which saw the Tower Ballroom transformed into a palace setting.

Cinderella premieres on Amazon Prime today

Cinderella premieres on Amazon Prime today

Filming took place ahead of the £1.1 million restoration project that was completed there earlier this year.

Production had to be suspended owing to Covid and the film’s original release date of July put back.

Critics have so far offered mixed reviews of the movie- which sees Cabello make her film debut.

James Corden will be adding yet another musical and animal character to his resume as a footman-turned-mouse – and also produces the film – while comedians James Acaster and Romesh Ranganathan will be making their feature film debuts as Corden’s fellow mouse pals.

Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine star as Cinderella and Prince Robert in the new Amazon Prime movie

Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine star as Cinderella and Prince Robert in the new Amazon Prime movie

Pierce Brosnan plays Prince Rowan, while Good Will Hunting star Minnie Driver takes the role of his wife Queen Beatrice.

Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer feature as the spiteful step-sisters, whilst Idina Menzel turns villainess as the wicked stepmother Vivian.

Amazon Prime subscribers can watch the movie from today.

Blackpool Tower Ballroom takes centre stage in the new live-action movie directed by Kay Cannon.

Blackpool Tower Ballroom takes centre stage in the new live-action movie directed by Kay Cannon.

Behind the scenes filming in Blackpool Tower Ballroom in March in 2020 pictures Amazon Studios

Behind the scenes filming in Blackpool Tower Ballroom in March in 2020 pictures Amazon Studios

Horror film with Blackpool Tower ‘Easter eggs’ to be released

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

Make-up artist Shelby Hannigan Cross and daughter Lucy, from Fleetwood, both feature in the film

 

A new horror film featuring actors from Lancashire is set to be released in 2022.

The feature film ‘Wrong Side’ has been written and directed by Craig Quinn from Droylsden, Manchester and revolves around the murderous ‘Gas Mask Killer’.

When the wrong man is convicted of a string of murders, the real culprit returns to continue their work. The film is described as a “mix of blood and gore with action, a bit of humour, some quirky characters.”

It is set to “have you wondering, who is the gas mask killer?”

LancsLive spoke to the director Craig Quinn and Shelby Hannigan Cross from Fleetwood, who plays the role of the “quirky” news reporter.

‘Wrong Side’, set to be released next year, has been filmed predominantly in Manchester with upcoming films set to feature Blackpool in future projects.

Wrong Side features a brilliant collection of Lancashire actors; Ewan Baxter and David Charles-Cully, from Blackpool, and Shelby Hannigan Cross and daughter Lucy from Fleetwood. Mike and Olivia Story from Carlisle also star.

Film Set of 'Wrong Side'
Film Set of ‘Wrong Side’

‘Wrong Side’ is the first film to introduce viewers to the fictional world of Sounder City.

Director Craig told Lancs Live that there are “so many interesting things you can do” with the landscape in Blackpool, and warned viewers to keep an eye out for any Blackpool Tower related Easter eggs whilst watching the Gas Masked Killer go about causing chaos in Sounder City.

Shelby described herself as “Blackpool born and bred” but moved to Fleetwood around a year ago. Her move into acting came after working in make-up in the horror genre. She said: “They needed help with special effects and I ended up being the reporter.”

From behind the scenes of 'Wrong Side'
From behind the scenes of ‘Wrong Side’

Shelby had previously worked in nail art before being pushed by her tutor into make-up as she was “more interested in creating a design than I was in the actual nail.”

Starting a make-up course, Shelby said it was the special effects of a slit wrist that got her “hooked” even though she “didn’t like horror that much.”

For many of us, a deep-dive into YouTube might end up in binge-watching Labrador puppies or old Graham Norton interviews. But for Shelby, it was all about special effects – she even started practicing on family members. She said: “I was creating all sorts, I had the kids with their eyeballs popping out.”

Shelby went on to do special effects for scare-mazes and The Walking Dead, before meeting Jason who is also behind Craig’s new film ‘Wrong Side’.

Wrong Side will be Shelby’s first speaking role where she’s not running away from someone and “screaming for her life” or running from someone “with a weapon” which is absolutely a promotion into the world of screen time.

The trailer shows Shelby exclaim, in a brilliant Blackpool accent: “It must be the gas mask killer!”

Shelby Hannigan Cross in 'Wrong Side'
Shelby Hannigan Cross in ‘Wrong Side’

Shelby’s 12-year-old daughter, Lucy, also features in the film. Shelby said: “Craig said to her, Lucy, come here and we’ll kill you. She was a bit nervous but because she knew everyone, she was fine. She told me when she had to pretend to have died she just lay in the sun and pretended to have a nap for 20 minutes.”

Sounds ideal, but from the scenes in the trailer, viewers can expect everything but a nap in the sunshine.

Recalling their favourite moments on set, Craig and Shelby both mentioned the moment Olivia Story, a triple amputee, lay on the floor to be made-up in prosthetics for her role as Robyn Eastwood, a victim of the gas mask killer.

Craig said: “Shelby and Jason applied the prosthetics, she had to lie down for two hours.”

Olivia Story lay on the floor for around two hours
Olivia Story lay on the floor for around two hours

The film looks terrifying, and with the backdrop of the North West having already caused a stir on TikTok, viewers will definitely catch a familiar scene at some point.

Craig told LancsLive that upcoming films due to be set in the same fictional universe as ‘Wrong Side’ will see the Blackpool Tower become ‘Sounder City Tower’ in film.

The team hope to have the film distributed through Amazon Prime, but can promise viewers will be able to watch at upcoming screenings and film festivals.

£19,000 boost for Bobby Ball statue fund

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The first fund-raising event in tribute to the late comedian Bobby Ball since lockdown has provided a bumper £19,000 boost towards the planned statue in his memory.

 

‘Bobby’s Brunch’ at Lytham’s Clifton Arms Hotel on Sunday proved so popular that Bobby’s widow Yvonne said it could have sold out twice over – and it ended up generating almost twice as much as the £10,000 Yvonne hoped night be raised for the statue appeal.

“I really can’t thank everyone enough,” said Yvonne,

“It was a wonderful success and a really memorable occasion, You could feel the love in the room.”

The brunch event at the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lytham, was a huge success

The brunch event at the Clifton Arms Hotel, Lytham, was a huge success

Artist chosen to sculpt Lytham statue of Bobby Ball

“We are delighted with how the appeal is going – and so grateful for everyone’s generosity,” added Yvonne. ”My thanks especially to Debbie and Mark Baxter, Deni Middleton and Debbie Wilkinson, who helped so much with the organisation of Sunday’s event.”

Bobby’s long-time partner in the legendary Cannon and Ball duet, Tommy Cannon, was among the audience on Sunday and at one stage joined Bobby’s sons, performers in their own right as The Harper Brothers, to sign a song which Yvonne described as “very moving”.

A host of performers, many based locally, were involved in the show in Bobby’s honour, which followed a meal.

Comedians Johnnie Casson and Phil WalkerComedians Johnnie Casson and Phil Walker

They included locally-based comedian Phil Walker along with the likes of popular singer Paul Dobie and the group Flip, all giving their services free of charge to help the statue fund.

Phil said: “With the pandemic, it was the first opportunity for us to get together and pay tribute to Bobby and I was honoured to be involved.

“I have fond memories of watching Cannon and Ball from the wings when they played Blackpool when I was younger and I’m proud that my first major gig as a comedian was supporting them at Bournemouth.

“When I went into panto, Bobby had just moved to the area and was always ready with really valuable advice.

“He was a regular attender at our Woofers comedy nights at Lowther Pavilion and I really miss him.”

Bobby died last October, aged 76. Artist Ben Twiston-Davies has already been commissioned to sculpt the statue of him close to the Lowther Pavilion theatre, where he was a patron.

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.

Lytham tribute event to Bobby Ball to boost statue fund

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A tribute event to the late comedian Bobby Ball is set to boost the appeal for a statue in his memory by up to £10,000.

 

‘Bobby’s Brunch’ at Lytham’s Clifton Arms Hotel on Sunday has proved so popular that Bobby’s widow Yvonne said it could have sold out twice over.

The Fylde-based funnyman’s long-time partner in the legendary Cannon and Ball duet, Tommy Cannon, is set to be among the audience as a host of performers, many based locally. put on a show in Bobby’s honour following a meal.

The performers will include locally-based comedian Phil Walker along with the likes of popular singer Paul Dobie and the group Flip, all giving their services free of charge to help boost to statue fund.

Bobby Ball and his wife YvonneBobby Ball and his wife Yvonne

Bobby’s sons, performers in their onw right as the Harper Brothers, will also be on the bill.

Artist chosen to sculpt Lytham statue of Bobby Ball

Yvonne said: “The response has been wonderful and we hope the event will raise £10,000. It sold out in quick time, with a capacity of around 150, and we could have sold twice as many tickets.”

Phil Walker said he is delighted to be involved and to have the chance to pay tribute to a man who was a family friend and big influence on his career.

Phil Walker will be among the performersPhil Walker will be among the performers

“With the pandemic, this will be the first opportunity for us to get together and pay tribute to Bobby and I’m honoured to be involved,” said Phil.

“I have fond memories of watching Cannon and Ball from the wings when they played Blackpool when I was younger and I’m proud that my first major gig as a comedian was supporting them at Bournemouth.

“When I went into panto, Bobby had just moved to the area and was always ready with really valuable advice.

“He was a regular attender at our Woofers comedy nights at Lowther Pavilion and I really miss him.”

The statue appeal, for a lasting tribute figure to be placed in Lowther Gardens, Lytham, next to the theatre where Bobby was a patron, currently stands around the £30,000 mark, with two major events – a ball and a concert in his honour – to come at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in the autumn.

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.

 

Johnny Vegas remembers Murder On The Blackpool Express co-star Una Stubbs as ‘an absolute light’

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Johnny Vegas has remembered his Murder On The Blackpool Express co-star Una Stubbs as “an absolute light” following her death at the age of 84.

 

The actress, best known for roles in the film Summer Holiday, the BBC sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness And In Health, and as Mrs Hudson in Sherlock, died on Thursday in Edinburgh surrounded by her family.

One of her last roles was as Peggy in the 2017 TV film Murder on the Blackpool Express opposite Vegas, Sian Gibson, Sheila Reid and Nina Wadia.

Vegas told BBC Breakfast: “She had a massive impact in such a short space of time and was just the loveliest actor to work with.

“She was an absolute light, an absolute joy. And probably in that very special category of on paper I wouldn’t have expected us to be pals on set, but she had time for everyone, she loved everyone, she was an absolute joy.

“A natural instinct for comedy and one of those people when she spoke to you she had a genuine interest.

“When she asked questions she was interested in you, so you had all this fun on set and then all these wonderful conversations off set.

“The fact that all of us that worked with her were contacting each other going things like ‘Something wonderful has gone’.”

Sir Cliff Richard, who starred opposite Stubbs in Summer Holiday, previously paid tribute, saying: “She was the most exciting person to be with, she was funny, she could really do just about anything – act, dance, she could even sing.”

“Anyway, she has left us and all I want to say is I personally will miss her greatly and I know that our industry on the whole will also miss her greatly.

“Her talent, her joy, everything that she was will remain with us all. While we remember her, she will still be with us.”

Stubbs, who was born in Hertfordshire in 1937, had a career in film, television and theatre spanning decades, including a recent role as Mrs Hudson in the BBC’s Sherlock opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.

A statement from her family said: “Mum passed away quietly today with her family around her, in Edinburgh. We ask for privacy and understanding at this most difficult and sad of times.”

Her agent Rebecca Blond said: “We are desperately sad to have lost not only a wonderful actress, whose screen and stage career, spanning over 50 years, was so extraordinarily varied, from Till Death Us Do Part to Sherlock, as well as memorable performances in the West End, at the Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Sheffield Crucible and National Theatre, but also a wickedly funny, elegant, stylish, graceful, gracious and kind and constant friend.

“She was also a highly respected and exhibited artist. We will miss her enormously and remember her always.”

Other well-known television roles included Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge and Miss Bat in The Worst Witch, as well as a role in the Fawlty Towers episode The Anniversary.

She first appeared on screen in the 1950s in series such as Benny Hill and Rush Hour.

After her turn as Sandy in Summer Holiday, she appeared in Sir Cliff’s next film Wonderful Life and later in his BBC TV series It’s Cliff Richard!

For several years, she was a team captain in the weekly game show Give Us A Clue in the 1980s and also made appearances in Heartbeat, Benidorm, Victoria Wood’s We’d Quite Like To Apologise, The Catherine Tate Show and Agatha Christie’s Marple.

She also played Caroline Bishop in the BBC soap EastEnders and more recently appeared in The Durrells, Call The Midwife and Midsomer Murders.

In addition to her work as an actress, Stubbs was also a keen amateur painter who had her work displayed at the Royal Academy in London.

Stubbs was married to actor Peter Gilmore from 1958 to 1969, with whom she adopted son Jason, and then married Nicky Henson in 1969, before they split in 1975.

The couple had two sons, Joe and Christian, both of whom are composers.

Christian wrote on Twitter: “Some of you may have known her as Rita, as Sally as Bat or Hudson but to my two brothers and I she was known as Mum.

“Thanks for everything Mum RIP.”

Sherlock co-star Cumberbatch labelled Stubbs “a wonderful, talented, stylish, gentle, joyous and honest friend”.

In a statement to the PA news agency, he added: “A joy to work with, to laugh with and to make laugh. So humble and yet so damn good.

“She lit up the room and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky enough to know her, but she will be remembered forever with fondness and love.”

 

Sherlock star Una Stubbs dies aged 84

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Actress Una Stubbs, best known for roles in the film Summer Holiday and in the BBC sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness And In Health, has died at the age of 84, her agent said.

 

Actress Una Stubbs

Actress Una Stubbs

Actress Una Stubbs, best known for roles in the film Summer Holiday and in the BBC sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness And In Health, has died at the age of 84, her agent The star, who was born in Hertfordshire in 1937, had a career in film, television and theatre spanning decades, including a recent role as Mrs Hudson in the BBC’s Sherlock opposite Benedict Cumberbatch.

A statement from her family said: “Mum passed away quietly today with her family around her, in Edinburgh. We ask for privacy and understanding at this most difficult and sad of times.”

Her agent Rebecca Blond said: “We are desperately sad to have lost not only a wonderful actress, whose screen and stage career, spanning over 50 years, was so extraordinarily varied, from Till Death Us Do Part to Sherlock, as well as memorable performances in the West End, at the Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Sheffield Crucible and National Theatre, but also a wickedly funny, elegant, stylish, graceful, gracious and kind and constant friend.

Jon Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge and Una Stubs as Aunt SallyJon Pertwee as Worzel Gummidge and Una Stubs as Aunt Sally

“She was also a highly respected and exhibited artist. We will miss her enormously and remember her always.”

The 1963 film Summer Holiday helped to make Stubbs’ name after she starred in the musical alongside Sir Cliff Richard.

She went on to star in BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part and its sequel In Sickness And In Health, playing Rita Rawlings.

In addition to her work as an actress, Stubbs was also a keen amateur painter who had her work displayed at the Royal Academy in London.

 

Reginald Dixon Blackpool tram unveiled: Pictures of the historic tram being shown on for the first time

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An historic Blackpool tram has been named after Reginald Dixon MBE, best known for his time spent as organist at the Blackpool Tower.

 

A classic Blackpool image - Tower, tram and Promenade

A classic Blackpool image – Tower, tram and Promenade

Reg, as he was commonly known, he held the position in the famous Tower Ballroom for 40 years and he was a household name during his years at the Blackpool Tower from 1930 to 1970, with live broadcasts of his performances being aired each week during the summer season on the BBC Light Programme, now Radio 2.

The Blackpool Tram was officially renamed today on Friday by Reg’s daughter, Jill Steel, along with other members of the family.

With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.

The tram was unveiled by Reg's daughter Jill Steel

The tram was unveiled by Reg’s daughter Jill Steel
The tram is now back in service on the heritage line
The tram is now back in service on the heritage line
His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.
His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history."
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history.”
Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer - which was built to his specification - for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day
Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer – which was built to his specification – for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day
An image of Reg at the ballroom is displayed at the top of the tram
An image of Reg at the ballroom is displayed at the top of the tram
The tram had the number 631 before its renaming
The tram had the number 631 before its renaming

Blackpool heritage tram paying tribute to Blackpool Tower organist Reg Dixon set to be unveiled today

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An historic Blackpool tram is being named after Reginald Dixon MBE, best known for his time spent as organist at the Blackpool Tower, where he held the position in the famous Tower Ballroom for 40 years.

 

Reg, as he was commonly known, was a household name during his years at the Blackpool Tower from 1930 to 1970, with live broadcasts of his performances being aired each week during the summer season on the BBC Light Programme, now Radio 2.

The Blackpool Tram will officially be renamed today at 2pm by Reg’s daughter, Jill Steel, along with other members of the family.

The ceremony will take place on Blackpool’s promenade close to North Pier, followed by an inaugural tram journey to celebrate

The tram that is set to be unveiled later todayThe tram that is set to be unveiled later today the occasion.

With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.

His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.

Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history.

Tributes to Reginald Dixon on the tramTributes to Reginald Dixon on the tram

“The tram will be enjoyed for years to come as part of our Heritage Tram Tours attraction and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors new and old to Blackpool to experience a piece of history.”

Kate Shane, regional director of Merlin Entertainment, said: “This is a fantastic moment where two of the many magical elements of Blackpool are celebrated as one, the heritage trams are synonymous with our resort and to rename one of them after Reginald Dixon celebrates not only his amazing talent but also the Tower and its famous ballroom – and indeed the whole resort.

“Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer – which was built to his specification – for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day. He was much loved and admired for his talent and unique style of play and we are all delighted about this very fitting tribute.” has been done in memory of this wonderful man.”

The first opportunity to ride on the renamed Reginald Dixon tram is from 4pm with further tour dates available to book online throughout 2021 at www.blackpoolheritage.com.

It will be unveiled by his daughter and other members of the familyIt will be unveiled by his daughter and other members of the family