Seagull menace aired on cruise ship’s TV show

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Scarborough’s seagull problems have been aired on one of the country’s most prestigious ships.

More than 2,000 passengers and crew aboard Cunard’s huge Queen Elizabeth heard a debate about the issue on its early morning TV show while sailing off the coast of Greece last week.

The discussion arose because the TV interviewer Leon de ste Croix, the entertainment director, was asking one of the ship’s 16 singers and dancers about his background before joining the Cunard troupe.

Chicago-born Elliott Cunningham revealed that he and the other performers had spent two months rehearsing their routines in Scarborough in spring under a new contract with QDOS, the entertainment production company which already has deals with other cruise ships in addition to its wide range of activities.

But the subject switched to the growing problem of food-snatching by seagulls.

“Scarborough is a charming place,” said Mr Croix, who had once visited the Futurist Theatre and was shocked to hear that it was now closed and for sale as part of a property redevelopment portfolio.

Elliott replied in the interview that he also found the town “nice” but agreed that seagulls were a problem. “Yes, I’ve seem in action. They are more like pterodactyls,” said Mr Croix, who said he once lost his pie and chips to a seagull swoop in Penzance.

The Queen Elizabeth singers and dancers who performed big shows twice a night, had rehearsed at The Street, the new youth and community centre off William Street, and had stayed at holiday cottages in Seamer.

The ship sailed off Scarborough in September 2011.