Would you go on a Doctor Who roller coaster?
19 January 2015 by Lucinda Stacey
Have you ever wanted to be on the set of your favourite TV show? Well your luck might be in!
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm to the BBC Corporation, has plans to open a theme park with Paramount which is said to be scheduled for 2020. This theme park, which will be in direct competition with giants such as Thorpe Park and Alton Towers, will have a twist and is said to be based on some of the BBC’s most popular shows. Doctor Who and Top Gear are among the brands that could be exploited, as well as EastEnders and Grange Hill.
Plans for this exciting prospect were first considered 18 months ago which will follow along the lines of Granada’s Coronation Street attraction. For those that are new to this concept, visitors pay to see the outside set of TV shows. Pearson, the media and tourism group, which has two satellite television joint ventures with the BBC, is keen to expand its fast-growing visitor attractions. The aim of this venture is to exploit the BBC’s studios and catalogue of programmes with Pearson injecting cash and expertise.
Pearson has examined a number of options for this potential site, including a theme park based at BBC’s Elstree studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. Stephen Davies, Director of Live Events, BBC Worldwide stated recently that “we’re always looking for opportunities to extend fans’ enjoyment of their favourite shows and the idea behind this resort is a really exciting way of celebrating the very special place the BBC has in British culture.”
This new venture needs to be carefully planned as the giant Tussauds group has several highly successful attractions of their own. Some of their popular day outs include Madame Tussauds waxwork museum, Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures. Adding more pressure, the Tussauds group is branching out, opening the ‘Port Aventura’ theme park in Barcelona in May and pushing to build a New York branch of Madame Tussaud’s across the pond.
It would seem there is a place for this new idea where BBC programmes and characters will feature prominently in an entertainment resort though. David Testa, who is Director of London Resort Company Holdings believes that it is only right for the BBC programmes to be “present at the new London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which will combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture.”
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