Future of T4 On The Beach in doubt after show axed
THE future of Weston-super-Mare's popular T4 on the Beach concert – which injects millions of pounds into the local economy – has been thrown into doubt after Channel 4 said the television show was to be scrapped.
The broadcaster has announced the T4 show – which goes out on Sunday mornings and has been described as "hangover TV" – will end in December.
Channel 4 is planning to replace the programme, which has been running since 1988, with a new Friday night music show.
The news that T4 is to finish has raised questions about the future of the hugely successful T4 on The Beach concert.
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The event, which has been held in Weston for the last eight years, is one of the highlights of the resort's calendar and this year attracted about 50,000 revellers to the sands.
The show provides a massive boost for businesses, injecting an estimated £5 million into the local economy over the concert weekend.
Bosses at Channel 4 would not be drawn on whether a concert on the beach would continue in Weston.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: "While the brand of T4 will come to an end in December we are looking at options to continue with similar broadcast events for next year. No decision has been made and we will make announcements in due course."
Weston and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce president, Gail Parsons, said: "T4 on the Beach was never guaranteed every year. But it kept coming back because the council was accommodating and the event always got a massive audience.
"If it does not come back next year it will be a real blow and there is no doubt it will hit the town hard.
"A lot of businesses benefit from T4 on the Beach, especially the hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.
"I would be very disappointed if the show did not return and I am sure the Chamber, Weston Town Council, the hoteliers association and North Somerset Council will be doing everything in their powers to encourage a similar event to the town."
This year's T4 on the Beach saw a plethora of stars take to a massive stage on the beach including X Factor judge Tulisa, Rita Ora and Rizzle Kicks.
The show, which celebrated its tenth birthday this year, has been held in Weston for the last eight years.
T4 has launched the careers of TV presenters including Dermot O'Leary, Rick Edwards, June Sarpong, Alexa Chung and Vernon Kay.
North Somerset Council spokesman Nick Yates said: "We have been speaking to the production company for T4 on the Beach and they are in discussions with Channel 4 about providing alternative summer events in Weston. T4 on the Beach generates an estimated £5 million for the economy over the weekend."