County council chief executive says Ross Noble show proved Northampton isn’t “****”

Paul Blanter (left) unveling a blue plaque at the formern house of Robert Llewellyn (centre) with Ross Noble (right)
Paul Blanter (left) unveling a blue plaque at the formern house of Robert Llewellyn (centre) with Ross Noble (right)

UK comedian Ross Noble’s television show about Northampton, which aired last night on Dave, emphasised the importance of the town’s modern history, the county council chief executive has said.

Paul Blantern, CEO of Northamptonshire County Council, who featured throughout the programme, said he really enjoyed being part of the filming of the show.

He said: “I learnt a lot about the town and its people that I didn’t know before, especially the amount of celebrities that came from here.

“While we celebrate our ancient heritage, we have a lot of contemporary history that we must remember as well. Factories leftover from our infamous shoe industry, for example, would make really good sites for filming.

“We just don’t do enough to celebrate our localities and people.”

During the show, the Newcastle-born comedian chatted to people in the streets and even went to the homes of some who contacted him through Twitter. The idea to feature the town in the second series of his Freewheeling show followed a tweet from a resident saying the town was “****”.

In July last year, he spent two days in the area as he attached makeshift blue plaques to the former homes of local celebrities such as actor and presenter Rober Llewellyn, comedian and presenter Alan Carr, and radio DJ Jo Whiley.

He also enjoyed a tour of the Museum & Art Gallery and threw a DVD from the top of the National Lift Tower.

During the show, watchers from Northampton took to Twitter to share their views about the town.

@HeavyDale tweeted: “As a newbie to Northampton I quite enjoyed it. Also don’t think it is as bad as people make out.”

@DanBichener tweeted: “I like it - the streets may not be the cleanest but it’s got great parks and pubs and I can get most things via a short walk!”

Mr Blantern, who took part in a staged “conversation” with Alan Carr - which involved implying that he thought it was Jimmy Carr - added: “I wanted to take part as a way to start engaging more with our young people.

“Part of my role is to advocate our county town and, as a council, we often talk about how we can retain the young people who graduate from the University of Northampton. So I wanted to take part in something that would appeal more to them, even if it did involve making a slight fool of myself on television.”