BLACK Country celebrity and Dudley Hippodrome campaigner Marlene Watson has vowed to fight on, after campaigners for the theatre were dealt a hammer blow last night.

Dudley Council last night officially gave their support for the Dudley Driverless Vehicles Consortium to take over the Hippodrome, giving the group 12 months to finalise their plans.

Campaigners from from the Dudley Hippodrome Community group expressed their disapproval and disappointment at the council's stance and have vowed to fight to restore the 1930's theatre.

The consortium, made up of seven organsiations including Dudley Zoo and the Black Country Living Museum, plan to make the Castle Hill site a control and training centre for an autonomous vehicle demonstration route.

Comedian Marlene became an internet sensation a couple of years ago when her videos of tales in the Black Country dialect went viral.