Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 11:13 UK

Blackpool to stage Variety gala

Diversity impressed TV viewers in May

Blackpool has been picked to host this year's Royal Variety Performance, which will feature Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity.

The dance troupe, who beat singer Susan Boyle to win the TV talent show, will be among the acts to perform in front of the Queen on 7 December.

Blackpool council leader Peter Callow said it was a "major coup", adding: "We won't let the Queen down."

The event, which was last held in the town in 1955, was first staged in 1912.

"It is obviously going to take place in our world famous Opera House, I think a lick of paint might not go amiss," Mr Callow said.

The venue, which seats 2,900 people, was also used to host the show in the 1950s, when Morecambe and Wise, Arthur Askey and George Formby were on the bill.

Since 2003, the gala has been held alternately between London and a location outside of the capital, including Liverpool two years ago.

Further acts to appear at this year's show, which will be screened on ITV1, have yet to be confirmed.

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