Who could forget former MP Ann Widdecombe’s infamous appearance in 2010’s Strictly Come Dancing? The self-confessed “dancing elephant” saw her popularity soar as she heaved and stumbled her way across the dance floor for a remarkable ten weeks, before finally becoming the ninth contestant to be voted off the series.
But those who mourned her loss from the competition will be delighted to hear the BBC’s plans for her triumphant return. As part of 2012’s Children in Need, Widdecombe will take part in a special Strictly performance with her former partner Anton Du Beke, alongside 2011 favourite Russell Grant who will dance with Flavia Cacace.
Ahead of the fundraiser Grant expressed his delight at being asked to appear: “Thrilled to be back on Children in Need as I was in the first one ever! And to be dancing with Flavia once more is a Strictly dream come true.
“A fantastic cause doing something I love! Everyone’s a winner!”
From the salsa to the samba, Widdecombe’s dancing talent was widely ridiculed by the judging panel during her time on the show. But that didn’t prevent scores of fans from voting for her and Du Beke over the course of the contest, with support similar to that shown to former ITV political correspondent John Sergeant who eventually withdrew from the 2008 series for fear of winning.
Widdecombe and Grant’s Strictly comeback – undertaken to raise funds for BBC’s Children in Need – will be filmed this weekend and screened as part of the main show hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly and Nick Grimshaw on Friday 16 November. It will be followed by a Strictly special live from Wembley Arena with this year’s contestants the following night.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news