TV celebrities get into the swing at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Television celebrities Keith Lemon and Richard Blackwood enjoyed all the fun of the fair at Shropshire’s leading visitor attraction as they filmed a revealing interview for a hit ITV show.

The comedy duo took a ride on the famous swing boats at Blists Hill Victorian Town, had a go on the coconut shy, visited the Victorian school, shops and buildings and enjoyed a pint at the town’s New Inn as they filmed scenes for ITV2 late-night show Shopping with Keith Lemon.

The programme showcased the host of activities at Blists Hill, with the funfair enjoying special praise from Celebrity Juice star Keith.

“I’m having a great time at this fair, it’s good isn’t it?” the star told his guest, before they jumped on the swing boats, which have been thrilling people of all ages for more than a century.

“Look at us, full grown men laughing our heads off on the swings,” said Keith, real name Leigh Francis, as the pair enjoyed the ride.

They both donned traditional bonnets to get into the Victorian mood as well as visiting Blakemore’s grocery shop for the programme, a mix of comedy and chat show which is available to watch on the ITV Hub.

The programme went on to touch on more serious issues as former Eastenders star Richard discussed the low points of his career as he faced bankruptcy and considered taking his own life at one stage.

Richard, who is now starring in Hollyoaks, talked about the ups and downs of his career which saw him go from being one of the country’s biggest entertainment stars at the turn of the millennium to being unable to find work when he returned to this country from America.

Richard Aldred, from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust which runs the town, said it was a real thrill to have hosted the two stars for a day’s filming earlier in the year.

“We had a fabulous time with both Keith and Richard and were delighted that they seemed to have so much fun exploring the museum and making the most of our Victorian funfair. It was a wonderful day.”

Blists Hill is currently closed because of the national lockdown but tickets are still on sale for December when the site plays host to a series of magical Christmas activities and events, including a series of Victorian Christmas weekends, with old-fashioned entertainment & music, stunning grottos, a Christmas emporium, themed activities and an outdoor ice rink.

The popular Winter Wonderland Grotto is coming back to Coalbrookdale too, giving children the chance to see Father Christmas in his sparkling woodland glade.

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