The search is on for a Neil Diamond superfan amid the countdown to his one-off Blackpool show this summer.
Ian Graham must be one of the Sweet Caroline star’s biggest fans - the show at Blackpool Football Club on Thursday, July 23, will be his 230th concert and his wife Jenny’s 100th.
It’s great that the last night of the UK tour is in Blackpool at a new venue that is open air
And event promoters Cuffe & Taylor are now on the look out for the ultimate fan, who will be in with a chance to win a top VIP package of two tickets to the show, a night’s luxury accommodation at the five-star boutique hotel Number One South Beach, return first class rail travel courtesy of Virgin Rail and a chauffeur driven car to and from the concert, from the hotel.
Scot Ian, 60, who now lives in Sutton on the outskirts of London, has a busy year planned as he follows Neil Diamond to 18 of his European tour dates as well as two in the US.
But Blackpool is the one he’s looking forward to, as the only outdoor show in the UK.
“It’s great that the last night of the UK tour is in Blackpool at a new venue that is open air,” he said. “Every Neil Diamond concert we go to is special but Blackpool will particularly memorable for me and my wife this year as it marks her 100th concert.
“You also never know if this is the last tour so for her to be enjoying her 100th concert at what could possibly be his last UK gig is very special for us and the fact that it’s open air and in a town synonymous with entertainment means it’s going to be a great night to remember.
“It’s the Las Vegas of the north and I think Blackpool will be a huge success.”
Ian has only missed four UK Neil Diamond shows since 1971 and reckons he has spent almost £250,000 pursuing his passion.
Also testament to his megafan status is the fact his four cats are named after Neil Diamond songs, and his car number plate is NLD - standing for the star’s initials Neil Leslie Diamond.
And the retired police officer even has a special jumper that he wears to concerts - featuring a frog logo and the words “Neil Diamond, the frog who dreamed of becoming a King”, words from the song I Am, I Said
Company director Peter Taylor said: “It’s great to hear of fans like Ian. He clearly has a great love of all things Neil Diamond and I’m delighted he is looking forward to the Blackpool show so much.
“There must be many other Neil Diamond fans who are so loyal and support his music and tours and we would love to hear from them so they have the opportunity to win such a fantastic prize when he comes to Blackpool in July.”
Go to Facebook.com/cuffeandtaylor for your chance to win the ultimate fan package.
n Visit www.ticketline.co.uk or call 0844 888 9991 for tickets, also available from Blackpool Tourist Information Centre on (01253) 478222.