TV dragon flies into resort to offer advice

DRAGON'S Den star Duncan Bannatyne is to try to give Felixstowe's tourism industry a shot in the arm - and revitalise its fading fortunes.

DRAGON'S Den star Duncan Bannatyne is to try to give Felixstowe's tourism industry a shot in the arm - and revitalise its fading fortunes.

The millionaire businessman is to swap spreadsheets for a bucket and spade as he visits the seaside to give his advice on how to regenerate seafront trade.

Film crews will visit the seaside town this week to make a new TV show focussing on the problems facing different coastal communities around the country, with resorts having suffered steady decline for 40 years because of cheap package holidays abroad.

Felixstowe is one of those chosen for the programme called The Great British Holiday Show and production crews from TwoFour Broadcast have already made one visit to do some shooting.


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Funfair owner Charles Manning and his brother David, who also runs seafront businesses, and amusements and pier owner Stan Threadwell, and children's amusements owner Stan Harris are all likely to feature in the show.

“The aim is to show us how we can improve our businesses and look at how a town like Felixstowe should be developing,” said Mr Manning, whose family have run businesses in the town for more than 60 years.

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“Seaside towns have gone through many changes because of people looking for other sorts of holidays, leisure and entertainment, and we are still trying to be a resort but it's hard work.

“With a regeneration project for the town currently under way, it is a really good time for Duncan to come and see if he thinks what we are planning is right and what other ideas he might have.

“I think it will be great and really useful as long as they don't do a hatchet job on us, which I don't think they will.”

Daniela Neumann, director of programmes for Virgin 1, said: “We hope it will be a series which will capture the imaginations of the British people and encourage a regeneration of our seaside attractions - which are a huge part of our heritage.”

What new attractions would you like to see in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: The Great British Holiday Show

TwoFour Broadcast are making six hour-long shows for Virgin 1.

The aim will be to kick-start a campaign to revive those resorts which have suffered most from foreign holidays.

An undercover family will visit a resort and its attractions each week and film a secret video report on what they find.

Duncan Bannatyne will then use their report to draw up his plan for the town.

The public will be asked to vote on his ideas - and say if they prefer the old or the new.

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