Thwaites stepped in to support owner Basil Newby, who is taking a few months to recover following health issues. Whatever happens, Thwaites says the future looks positive for the club and its associated bars – and it is already getting set to launch its Hallowe’en shows later this month.
Andrew Buchanan, Director of Pubs and Brewing at Thwaites, said: “Funny Girls has been an important part of Blackpool’s night time scene for many, many years, and will be for many years to come.
“It is a really popular venue and it continues to offer fabulous entertainment and a great night out.
“I think people have assumed that because the business has been placed in administration that it is closing but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s business as usual and our team is busy rehearsing, decorating and sewing in preparation for the launch of our Hallowe’en show which starts on September 26 and our Christmas productions which begin on November 15.
“The decision to put the company into administration and grant Thwaites a temporary license to operate it was to safeguard the business and people’s jobs while Basil resolves his health issues – but we are all very much focussed on the future of Funny Girls.
“For everyone who is asking whether we are still taking bookings for this weekend, Christmas or beyond the answer is ‘yes we absolutely are’.”
Funny Girls first exploded onto the Blackpool nightscene in 1994, in a tiny corner shop on Queen Street and proved so popular a bigger venue was soon needed. It moved to its current venue in 2002 and has been entertaining audiences there ever since.
Over the years the cabaret showbar has been the focus of several TV documentaries, appeared on the Royal Variety twice and played to packed audiences nightly.
Since news of Basil’s health issues have emerged, he has been flooded with messages of support from around the town and further afield.
Art Director Stephen Pierre shared on Facebook: “The endearing quality about Mr Basil Newby is that throughout his life he has stayed loyal to Blackpool. He has been a hands-on hard-working operator and DJ. His colourful and major investments have offered much needed year-round employment for decades. Those many people from all walks of life who have visited his venues over the years have also supported Blackpool’s wider economy.
“He is a living legend who deserves applause and recognition as an inspiring entrepreneur who has helped to keep the Neon Lights on in Blackpool for 40 years. His legacy will live on for generations to come. Step forward and take a bow Mr Basil Newby MBE.”
Editor and author Nige Burton posted: “I hope you will join me in wishing him a full return to health, and the boundless happiness he deserves as he begins his next chapter.
“Basil, young man, you are one of the most inspirational people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have ever done for me and so many others.
“May you now get the space, time and enjoyment for yourself, having given so much to so many for so long.”
Bookings are now being taken for Halloween (September 26 to November 4), Christmas (from November 15 to January 6) and the Spring Show (which runs from January 24 to May 24). For tickets and packages, call 01253 649194 or visit www.funnygirlsonline.co.uk/booking/buy-tickets