Latest News from Strictly Worcestershire 2014

Latest News

26/5/2016 Congratulations to our Strictly Worcestershire 2016 champions Ben and Geraldine Mannion, who edged out Julie Clifford and Steve Chamberlain in a thrilling dance off. The winners of the audience vote were Mahmut Guler and Jenny Gage.

11/5/2016 With less than a month to go before the big night, we'd like to thank all our brilliant benefactors for their support. Without them, the show would simply not go on! Find out more about them on the Benefactors page.    

22/3/2016 Take a bow, Mr Thrush! The Worcester News website also has a fascinating interview with consultant breast surgeon Steven Thrush.

22/3/2016 The breast unit at Worcester has finally opened its doors to patients. Read the full story on the Worcester News website.  

8/3/2016 Contestant couple Ben and Geraldine Mannion's SW3 journey, in their own words: "As a married couple Strictly Worcestershire was going to result in one of two things: divorce or a helluva lotta fun! We are pleased to say it’s the latter.
"After attending the last two events but being otherwise indisposed in the baby way - our daughter Etta is now 19 months old - this year we were willingly and excitedly collared into competing.

"Having never danced before it's a great excuse to spend time as a couple, support two wonderful charities and learn a new skill. We have embraced the Strictly journey. That said, it's not been without its challenges, what with Ben breaking his leg in three places shortly after they started practising - putting a slight halt to their initial progress! We hope to take you on a journey with our dances and hope you enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed learning them. Hold onto your hats guys, it’s going to be a rollercoaster of emotions!"

3/3/2016 Many thanks for our friends at the Worcester News for featuring Strictly Worcestershire 3 in print and also on the website.  

1/3/2016 A warm welcome to our eighth contestant couple: Mahmut Guler, manager of Bolero Bar and Kitchen in Worcester, and Jenny Gage, chief executive officer of Sight Concern Worcestershire.

12/2/2016 SW3 contestants Ben and Geraldine Mannion explain what taking part means to them: "Having a little girl takes up a lot of our time so it's nice to have some time together. We've been to the last two events and are delighted to be involved in raising funds for two fantastic causes."

5/2/2016 Valuable advice for the class of 2016 from SW2 contestant Dan Lewis: "If you make a mistake, just keep going and make the most of the two minutes. Work with the stage area and make sure you know where you are in terms of the audience. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

20/1/2016 H1 Healthcare founder and chief executive Pam Easen on why the company is sponsoring SW3: "As a leading international healthcare recruitment and training business, H1 Healthcare proactively seeks to support and build relationships with a number of charities in the healthcare sector.

"Strictly Worcestershire is a natural fit as it raises invaluable funds for two amazing causes, the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign and Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer.

“I attended the event for the first time in 2015 and was greatly impressed by the contestants’ dedication and ability and the audience’s enthusiastic response.

“The H1 Healthcare team looks forward to sharing everyone’s excitement on what is certain to be a memorable evening at the Chateau Impney and we would like to wish all of the contestants well on their Strictly journey over the coming months."

12/1/2016 Could you, would you perform in front of an audience of 750 at Chateau Impney on Thursday, May 26? We've got room for one more contestant couple. Please send us a message via our Facebook page if you're interested in getting involved.

8/1/2016 Advice for our contestants from SW1 and SW2 contestant and SW3 project partner Julia Williams: "You'll have an amazing journey and the privilege of dancing live. Enjoy every minute of it."

6/1/2016 A first look inside the Worcestershire Breast Unit on the Worcester News website featuring consultant breast surgeon Steven Thrush. The unit could open as early as next month.

4/1/2016 Good news to start 2016! The Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven charity will raise funds to help run a support service at the new facility and purchase non-medical items such as wigs and mastectomy bras. Find out more here. 

22/12/2015: We'd like to wish all SW3 contestants, benefactors and supporters a wonderful Christmas and successful 2016. We look forward to seeing you all at Chateau Impney in Droitwich Spa on May 26.  

22/12/2015: Wise words from event producer Gerard Smith said: "SW3 is all about joy and fun, learning a new skill and challenging ourselves. It's in front of our friends and they want you to do well."

14/12/2015: SW3 contestant Sam-Vandeleur Broadway: "Clare (Cross) and I are loving it. We're having so much fun - even when we have to get up early in the morning!"

8/12/2015 Magic moments shared by event producer Gerard Smith with SW3 contestants at the recent Strictly Worcestershire family meeting at the Chateau Impney: "At the end of your performance, whatever you have achieved, you will receive thunderous applause. I'm envious of you taking part. My heart beats just being on this stage again."  

2/12/2015 The Worcester Breast Cancer Support Group, which has raised tens of thousands of pounds towards Worcester's life-saving breast unit, has celebrated its 25th birthday. Read the full story on the Worcester News website here.

1/12/2015 SW2 champion Laura Bligh's top tips for the 2016 crew: "You only get to do it once so have some fun with it! Even though it may seem like it’s a long way to go until the big night, trust me, you will be stood in the wings with the ten second countdown to your performance before you know it. Practise... lots. You never know…. You might even win."

1/12/2015 We're kicking off December with an exciting announcement. The hosts of H1 Healthcare Strictly Worcestershire 2016 will be 2015 champion and Free Radio presenter Hursty and TV presenter Rebecca Jane. 

26/11/2015 Please support Strictly Worcestershire 3's two amazing charities by donating via our Just Giving page. In 2015 we raised over £1,700 through this page alone and this time around we're aiming for £3,000. You can also leave a message of support for your favourite dance duo.

25/11/.2015 The Strictly Worcestershire 3 team gathered at the Chateau Impney yesterday evening for a positive and ideas packed meeting hosted by event producer Gerard Smith. We'll be sharing contestants' stories on this page over the coming months so please keep checking back.   

13/11/2015 Words of wisdom from SW2 champion Hursty to the class of 2016: "Do something YOU want to show off to those 800 people. Give them a show they won’t forget and push a little boundary somewhere, you won’t regret it! It’s a bit odd slipping into those heels and Spanx but it’s all part of the show. To be part of history like this, to have changed people’s lives like this is a privilege."

6/11/2015 2015 contestants Bekki Normoyle and AJ Harker have this advice for our 2016 competing couples: "Give it your all and you and the charities will reap the rewards!"

30/10/2015 Advice from 2015 contestants Dave and Sue Connellan to the Strictly 2016 crew: "We hope you all have a fantastic time. It is a once in a lifetime experience, don't give up when it seems too difficult. You can do it - we did!"

27/10/2015 The penultimate contestant couple for Strictly Worcestershire 2016 are Julie Clifford, senior medical secretary at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and her friend Steve Chamberlain.

26/10/2015 A warm Strictly welcome to our sparkling new benefactor, Cecily’s Beauty Salon. Located in Malvern Wells, Cecily's offers all the services and treatments you would expect and provides a sophisticated oasis of calm. Fully qualified therapists can either help you to relax in mind, body and soul, prepare you for a special event or help make exclusive use pamper, hen and stag parties fun and memorable.

23/10/2015 015 contestant Dan Lewis has this advice for the class of 2016: "Shimmy to Bob Warman. Shake it to Lord Digby. Lose yourself and always remember to smile (or your teacher will be disappointed)! We're all fighting a battle nobody knows about but together we can fight it better!" ‪

20/10/2015 The sixth wonderful contestant couple bidding to win the 2016 glitterball trophy are Su and Noel Colledge, senior managers of the Worcester office of London lettings agent Ludlow Thompson. Su and Noel were unveiled during Worcestershire Hour yesterday.

16/10/2015 What Strictly Worcestershire meant to 2015 champion Laura Bligh: "I entered initially as a project and a challenge, but in the end it became so much more than that to me. It’s really difficult to describe how much this show becomes a part of you the more you get involved in it. Once you realise the sheer size of the production, the numbers of tickets sold, the amount of support from the benefactors and the charities you really realise the obligation that you have, in return, to give all of these people an amazing show! SW2 is an experience that I will look back on fondly forever and feel really proud that I played a tiny little part in something that surely will go down in Worcestershire’s history."

14/10/2015 Do you believe in lighting striking THREE times? Well, after losing two couples in 2014 and 2015 due to pregnancy it's happened again in 2016! Which means we're now looking for a new get-up-and-go guy and gal to fill their dancing shoes! If you feel you can face the prospect of hours of rehearsals between now and May 2016 AND entertaining hundreds of expectant Worcestershire business folks at a glittering event at the Chateau Impney, then send us a message via our Facebook page with your details and tell us why you'd like to take part. The deadline for applications is October 31.

13/10/2015 Strictly Worcestershire has a brilliant new benefactor. Hands On At Work are an on site massage company providing businesses, event organisers, charitable organisations and individuals with massage in the workplace, sports massage, postural analysis and a variety of other complementary therapies. Visit the company's website for more details. 

12/10/2015 A warm welcome to our fifth contestant couple, Inksmoor's Sarah Radley and Toby Holt of Smith & Williamson, who were unveiled during Worcestershire Hour this evening.

09/10/2015 What Strictly Worcestershire meant to me by 2015 contestant Dan Lewis: "It was a privilege for me to be involved. I can remember standing backstage on the night and looking out on the crowd outside and thinking: 'This is what it’s all about: a chance to make a difference to people’s lives.' The last few months to a year condensed into a few minutes beckoned. Crazy feeling! Fortunately I had the incredible Julia Williams to keep me in step. A call for your name looms and then the most weird and wonderful experience of your life is there!"

06/10/2015 The fourth contestant couple was revealed during Worcestershire Hour yesterday. Good luck to Dawn Owen and James Osborne as they begin their Strictly Worcestershire journey.  

02/10/2015 What Strictly Worcestershire meant to us by 2015 contestants Bekki Normoyle and AJ Harker: "We came across SW1 when we went to support friends in the show as the charities meant a lot to us. We loved every minute of the show and were very impressed with all the contestants and how much effort they had put in. After the show, when we got together with our friends they mentioned that we shouldn’t just support, but take part. We didn’t need much encouragement as the charities meant a lot and had personal connections with the causes. It was an amazing night, worth all the hard work and tears. To be able to give something back to the charities after our families had been through so much and the heartache of losing close family members was an incredible feeling. Being dressed up, facing the crowd and dancing our socks off with support from family and friends was amazing!"

29/09/2015 A warm welcome to our third contestant couple, Clare Cross and Sam-Vandeleur Broadway, who were unveiled during Worcestershire Hour yesterday evening.

24/9/2015 What Strictly Worcestershire meant to 2015 contestants Dave and Sue Connellan of Worcester's Mobile Mechanic: "We were so excited about taking part, choosing our dances and music, then comes the hard work with lots of laughter and arguments along the way. It’s a fantastic challenge which strengthens your relationship and great friendships are made within the Strictly family as we all work hard to raise money for the two charities. It is the most amazing experience, an excuse for a fabulous dress/ outfit (for the men), wonderful jewellery, super tans, fantastic make-up and hair trials - pampered or what! For Dave and myself, if we had realised just how the cancer treatment was going to affect him we probably wouldn't have taken part, but it gave us something to look forward to and work towards, so even though we did not dance as well as we wanted to we helped to raise money and got through the cancer challenge at the same time."

22/09/15 The second contestant couple for Strictly Worcestershire 2015, Jennifer Appleton and Chris Orr, were unveiled during yesterday evening's  Worcestershire Hour. Best of luck to you both.

18/9/2015: What Strictly Worcestershire meant to me by 2015 contestant Granville Orange. "It meant I met a most wonderful life-long friend in my gorgeous dance partner Julie. It meant fun and hours of hard work. It meant being part of the biggest charity event of its kind in our wonderful county and for two great causes. It meant learning new skills. It meant fake tan and make up and losing over two stones in weight! It meant excitement, nerves, celebration and champagne!"

15/9/2015 We are delighted to announce that the supreme project benefactor to Strictly Worcestershire 2016 will be H1 Healthcare, a leading recruitment, training and healthcare services provider founded by Pamela Easen. H1 Healthcare provides a wide range of products and services to clients including private healthcare providers, care homes, prisons, the NHS and voluntary organisations and has offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Sydney. For further information, visit the company's website.

15/9/2015 The first contestant couple for Strictly Worcestershire 2016 were unveiled during Worcestershire Hour yesterday evening. A warm welcome to Ben and Geraldine Mannion.  
All proceeds to Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign and Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer. Partners - Nexus Creative, Project, AGCountryHomes, Chris Green MEdia, Intasound PA.