Viewers Blackpool Dance Festival
TV cameras are to follow the “real-life tears, tribulations and triumphs, the glitz and the glamour” of Blackpool Dance Festival. For the first time, filming has been permitted behind the scenes for the prestigious festival, which takes place in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens.
Blackpool’s Ballroom Battle will be an hour-long special and is being filmed by BBC presenter Stacey Dooley’s production company, Little Dooley. Viewers will meet dancers, trainers and coaches of ballroom as they compete for the title of British Open Champion in the annual event which was launched in 1920 and welcomes thousands of dancers from more than 40 countries descend on the seaside resort.
Stacey, 35, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, will act as executive producer on the project, which will be the first for her independent company, which launched in 2019.
The Stacey Dooley Investigates presenter said: ““The minute I was introduced to the extraordinary world of ballroom and Latin I was hooked. The culture, the passion, the dedication, the anecdotes, the sequins.
“We are hoping to deliver an insightful, thrilling look into an iconic scene that has, until now, felt relatively undiscovered. And I really can’t wait.”
The one-off programme will air on on BBC One and iPlayer later in 2022. Stacey has previously fronted a number of hard-hitting documentaries on difficult subjects for the BBC, including child soldiers, sex trafficking, homelessness and domestic abuse.
Kate Phillips, the BBC’s director of unscripted, said: “I am so excited to bring Blackpool’s Ballroom Battle to BBC audiences. Little Dooley have done a fantastic job in getting access to the Blackpool Dance Festival, which has long been a hidden and mysterious world to those not in the dancing community.
“In the programme we will get to witness some absolutely thrilling ballroom dancing, and go behind the scenes to see the stamina, hard work and dedication that it takes in order for these spectacular dancers to get to the top.”