BLACKPOOL GAZETTE : JOE LONGTHORNE HONOURED FOR 30 YEARS AS BLACKPOOL LEGEND
Stars of Blackpool’s showbiz community turned out to congratulate singer Joe Longthorne on 30 years of entertainment in Blackpool.
Joe, who has been fighting to regain his full health since a cancer diagnosis, was treated to a Mayoral reception at the Town Hall with more than 100 guests.
Blackpool Mayor, Cllr Ian Coleman, gave a presentation in the council chamber before a party in the Mayor’s parlour.
Cllr Coleman said: “Joe Longthorne is special and different every time you see him preform. He is an entertainer par excellence, a showman of incredible calibre.
“He is well respected throughout the industry and has been a wonderful performer for Blackpool over those 30 years.”
Joe said he was surprised and delighted by the turn out at the Town Hall. He said: “It was a great honour. Blackpool means so much to me and to see all those people and so many friends there was wonderful and I thank them all. “Blackpool has changed over the 30 years I have been performing here but it is still up there at the top. It has so many characters and there’s always something going on here. I have put the award right next to my MBE, it means that much to me.”
Joe said he was looking forward to performing at Viva where he has four more Sunday night shows before the season ends. He has also got a tour lined up for November including a date at Leicester Square.
Among the many performer guests were friends Tony Jo and Johnny Casson, plus agents, impresarios, councillors and fans. Joe Longthorne’s career took off in 1987 when he starred in Live from the London Palladium and Des O’Connor tonight on TV. That year he released three albums, all of which went platinum.
He was invited to headline a season at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago and sang in Las Vegas. He has enjoyed sell-out performances at the Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the London Palladium. In 2007 he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Variety Club, and he got the MBE in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to charity. Joe was born in Hull but has lived in Blackpool for 18 years but was a regular star visitor before that.
Joe, 62, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2005, and he underwent a bone marrow transplant a year later. At the time he told the Gazette that he thought his 2004 Opera House performance was going to be his last. Then in 2014, he had throat cancer, but battled back to perform once more and was hoping to be able to play a full season at Viva Blackpool this year until further health problems at the start of the season caused him to limit his performances.
Read the full article in The Gazette here
BLACKPOOL COUNCIL HONOURS JOE FOR ’30 YEARS BY THE SEASIDE’
Joe has been honoured by Blackpool Council this morning for ’30 Years By The Seaside’.
A civic reception was held in honour last Saturday in the historic Mayor’s parlour at Blackpool Town Hall. His Worshipful The Mayor Cllr Ian Coleman had personally invited Joe who was thrilled and delighted to accept a few weeks ago.
A number of Joe’s friends from the UK and Blackpool entertainment industry were in attendance, including actors Christopher Ellison from ‘The Bill’, Blue’s Antony Costa, Johnnie Casson, Leye D.Johns, Johnnie Duffy, Joe Wildy, Tony Jo, Robin Duke and many members of Blackpool Council and local authorities.
The Mayor gave a short speech before presenting Joe with a crystal glass commemorative award for his extensive contribution to Blackpool’s tourism and leisure industry over the years.The town has been Joe’s home since 2002 although he has been a frequent visitor since the 70s performing in the resort since his early days as an entertainer.
2017 sees Joe celebrate 30 years of starring in his own Summer Season in Blackpool, breaking many box office records along the way.
THE LATE GREAT LIZ DAWN MBE
A new addition to Joe's You Tube Channel today where we look back to 1994 when Joe and his dear friend the late Liz Dawn went into the recording studio for this classic duet 'Passing Strangers". Click HERE to view....
This film from our archives shows the making of the record plus the full version which made the Top 40 in December 1994.
RIP Liz, our thoughts and prayers are with your family and loved ones.
JOE AT VIVA BLACKPOOL
Sharing news of Joe at Viva Blackpool last Sunday.....
Great setlist from Joe including Don't Cry Out Loud, As If We Never Said Goodbye, I Believe I'm Gonna Love You, Bowie Life On Mars, Dame Shirley & Sir Tom I Who Have Nothing plus Joe with Tracey You Don't Bring Me Flowers and much more. Plus the fantastic Viva cast for the first half. It all happens again this Sunday 8 Oct, book now Box Office T: 01253 297297 online at www.vivablackpool.com
Joe has made the decision to focus on the Viva Sunday concerts at home in Blackpool during October 2017.
He is extremely disappointed that the October concerts around the UK will now be postponed to a later date however this will give him more time to rest and relax , as advised by his medical team.
Joe will be attending at Wednesbury Town Hall for their Community Evening on Friday 6th October 2017.
The tour resumes with the opening concert at The Epstein Theatre Liverpool on Friday 3rd November 2017 and then onwards with dates as scheduled.
We would like to apologise for any inconvenience October ticket holders may feel or experience, Joe hopes to see you all at Viva Blackpool or on tour in November and December
ROTHERHAM AND SCARBOROUGH
We are sorry to announce that Joe will not be at The Civic Theatre Rotherham tomorrow Thursday 28 September or at Scarborough Spa on Saturday 30th September.
Joe has been advised not to travel this week by his doctor and to rest at home. He is bitterly disappointed but has to follow his doctors’ orders.
Finally we would like to say that Joe will be performing at VivaBlackpool this Sunday 1st October with Andy and the band , this is very close to home, and he really looks forward to seeing everyone there.
New dates for Rotherham and Scarborough are to be announced as soon as possible. A note of thanks is expressed to the theatres involved for their assistance.
NEWS UPDATE ON JOE
We are delighted to give everyone a general update on how Joe is doing following his latest check ups at hospital this week.
Firstly, the long term treatment plan for his Lymphoma is right on target and his medical team at Blackpool Victoria are very pleased with his progress. Secondly, doctors at Royal Preston Hospital told Joe they were very pleased with him after a routine check up for his mouth cancer.
Overall, Joe is feeling stronger and fitter as the time passes by but picked up a virus at the weekend. Unfortunately ,down to this, he was unable to perform at Viva Blackpool last Sunday. On his doctor's advice to rest he will not now be travelling down to Basildon for Friday's concert at The Towngate Theatre, this will be postponed to a later date.
Joe is spending this week resting and relaxing at his Blackpool home and is really looking forward now to this Sunday's performance at Viva Blackpool. He hopes to see as many of you as possible there.
JOE'S BACK !
A very special evening at Viva Blackpool last Sunday for Joe's concert with Andy Mudd and the band, sharing photos here of Joe's return to his beloved stage after a short break for medical treatment, more photos and videos on our Social media sites.
Joe performed to a sold out audience who had travelled from all around the UK for the show. We can report that he was greeted on stage by a 5 minute continuing standing ovation and opened with a magnificent performance of "As If We Never Said Goodbye'.
Extensive standing ovations followed every song with Joe eventually leaving the stage at the end of the show with both arms clasping huge bouquets of flowers and cards.
JOE REMEMBERING THE LATE GREAT BRUCE FORSYTH
“Bye Bye to the consummate performer Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE. Glad to have known you.
Deepest Sympathies to Wilnelia and all his family.
Sincerely Joe and James x”
Joe is resting this week and looking forward to getting back to his favourite venue Viva Blackpool with his band this Sunday evening.
Click HERE to view Joe’s performance on Bruce’s 70th Birthday Celebrations on ITV’s ‘Sunday Night at The London Palladium.
LATEST UPDATE ON JOE
Following on from the last update on Joe 4 weeks ago, here’s the latest news tonight on how he’s doing.His medical team are very pleased with his progress, Joe’s been following doctors orders, taking plenty of rest and quiet time with gentle exercise in between. He’s on a long course of treatment and so far all the signs are positive and encouraging.
Sincere thanks to everyone once again for your continuing love and support by way of all the messages, cards and gifts.
There will be more news tomorrow on Joe’s return to the stage.
LOOKING BACK ON THE LOSS OF 'THE GAUL'
Back in the 70’s a young Joe Longthorne was deeply honoured to be invited to perform at this event by Hull’s very own legendary Johnny Pattison .
A fundraising evening organised for the relatives of ‘The Gaul’, a Hull trawler which sunk in Feb 1974 with the loss of 36 of Hull’s fishermen.
The vintage poster, now part of Joe’s archive, was recently unearthed by a family member, we are told that the faint lines of biro under Joe’s name are from the pen of Joe’s very proud father Fred Longthorne.
This was one of Joe’s early professional engagements for a very special cause, always close to Joe's and all the Longthorne family’s hearts, being about fellow members of their community who lost their lives at sea ,working away in challenging circumstances and risking their lives simply to earn a living for their families back home on dry land.
‘The Gaul’ and it’s sinking at sea in February 1974 with the loss of 36 of Hull’s finest fishermen was described at the time by the president of the British Trawler Federation as "the worst ever single-trawler tragedy”.
Built in 1972 it was a modern vessel of it’s days and being a deep sea factory ship she carried two crews, fishermen catching the fish and the filleters processing and freezing on board.
On the night of 8/9 February 1974 The Gaul was lost in horrendous weather in the Barents Sea north of Norway. No SOS was ever received and it was not until 1997 that the ship was located.
The relatives of the 36 brave crew had to wait for 23 years without any news of their loved ones even the location of their final resting place.
Following the discovery of a wreck in the last known location in 1997 it was confirmed that this was indeed The Gaul and the last resting place of the 36 crewmen, may they rest in peace.
May we all take a moment to think about them and their families and remember a line in the famous hymn ‘ For those in Peril on the Sea',
VIVA BLACKPOOL SEASON 2017 - UPDATE
The start of Joe's 2017 Summer Season at Viva Blackpool is to be slightly delayed. This is to give Joe time to rest and recuperate while receiving medical treatment for Lymphoma.
Viva Blackpool's Box Office T: 01253 297297 are contacting all ticket holders for the dates affected with full details of their alternative Sunday night show in the meantime.
HEALTH UPDATE ON JOE
We are now able to issue an update on Joe and his health. Many of you will be aware that he started feeling unwell in early May. Since then he has undergone an extensive series of tests under the supervision of his medical team.
His doctors now have those results. Joe received a bone marrow transplant in 2005 but sadly the diagnosis is that Lymphoma has returned. This is something which has naturally been a great shock for Joe and Jamie as indeed it will to all of you on reading this update.
Joe started treatment last week and is totally optimistic of winning this latest battle he is facing and has asked for his deepest thanks and love to be passed on to you all for your messages of love and support and for just being there for him.
As always, we will keep everyone regularly updated on Joe just as soon as we have news.
JOE DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL-LATEST NEWS UPDATE
We are very pleased to advise everyone that Joe has been discharged from Blackpool Victoria Hospital and is now back home resting and recuperating from his recent severe chest infection.
He would like to thank everyone for all the kind messages, cards, thoughts and prayers from which he has sought great comfort and support over the last 11 days. He sends his love and best wishes and looks forward to seeing you all soon. We will issue a full update on Joe’s health condition later this week.