Coleen Nolan blasts Blackpool as 'binge-drinking hellhole'
Coleen Nolan has received a backlash from Blackpool residents - after describing her hometown as a "binge-drinking hellhole".
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Writing in her national newspaper column, Coleen also said the seaside resort was a like a "war zone": "What I've seen there on a weekend night has left me speechless," she wrote.
"Stags and hens stagger from happy hour to happy hour, slugging back fishbowls of cocktails until slumped half-naked on the street, legs akimbo, in pools of vomit.
"Bodies in the gutter, police on the streets, car windows smashed to smithereens. It sounds as if I'm describing a war zone - and I am."
Coleen was brought up in Blackpool, after her parents moved there from Dublin in 1962.
Her sister Linda still lives there, while her parents and sister Bernie are buried there.
Coleen herself moved away from Blackpool in 2007, explaining: "The Blackpool I grew up in, where many members of my family still live, I treasure fond memories of.
"But, very sadly, I have to admit, it's not the Blackpool I knew and loved any more. In 2007, I felt I had no choice but to pack my bags and get my family out of my once lovely home town."
In her column , Coleen added: "'I was in no way surprised to learn this week that Blackpool has topped the polls - if you can sink to the top - as the drinking capital of England.
"I adored growing up in Blackpool. It had a real party atmosphere - but for all the right reasons. It was bulging with theatres, the best acts.
"The summer season would go on for months on end - it was one long carnival.
"You couldn't walk down the prom on the weekend for the hordes of families.
"Now every corner on a Friday night looks like a postcard from broken Britain. And when I go back to visit my family, I don't feel safe at night.
"I understand Blackpool is struggling under the slump of departed tourists, and I understand the theatres don't draw the acts they once did.
"But surely if the town changes its reputation and stops being a hen and stag binge-drinking hellhole, the families might want to come back?"
Coleen's comments have been met with criticism from residents and local councillors.
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Tony Williams, leader of the Tory group on Blackpool Council, said: "I'm astonished. Coleen still has family living and working in Blackpool and I can't believe she has said what she has.
"She is biting the hand that feeds her – Blackpool made the Nolans and made her career.
"It was the support of this town this town that gave them their break."
According to the Daily Mail, resident Ann Warren echoed the sentiment, saying: "All towns have their faults, Blackpool is no exception, but it doesn't need a so-called celebrity to point out its failings.
"You would think being born and bred Blackpool she would be proud of her town.
"It has some very good points as well as its bad points and if it wasn't for Blackpool she wouldn't be where she is today."
Coleen isn't the only celebrity to have blasted Blackpool recently. Ex-Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson said the town was full of "drunks, drug addicts ad Syrian refugees".
According to the Mirror, Blackpool's Mayor Peter Callow said: "He's already had the sack for thumping someone and he's lucky to have any sort of job.
"He should get in one of his cars and go for a long drive off one of our short piers."