TV star to judge Deeside’s ‘Strictly’

Alison Hammond has stepped in to replace Gok Wan on the judging panel
Alison Hammond has stepped in to replace Gok Wan on the judging panel

TV personality Alison Hammond is to put local amateur dancers through their paces at a charity competition next month.

The regular on ITV’s This Morning has signed up as celebrity judge at the Strictly Come Prancing event, which will be held at Ardoe House Hotel on Saturday, March 30.

All proceeds from the event will go to Banchory-based Forget Me Not Club, which provides vital support and activities for those living with dementia, their families and carers.

A total of ten couples have been taking part in dance lessons for several months and will be taking to the floor to perform either the tango or the salsa, with a panel of judges scoring their efforts.

Alison has stepped in to replace Gok Wan, who has had to pull out of the event due to filming commitments for TV’s ‘Say Yes to the Dress’.

Known for her quick wit, outrageous presenting style and infectious laugh, she rose to fame on ‘Big Brother’, ‘I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here’ and ‘Loose Women’.

Alison became an audience favourite in 2014’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Lesley Fletcher, development manager at the Forget Me Not Club, said Alison was a perfect choice for celebrity judge.

She added: “We are thrilled that Alison has stepped in to replace Gok Wan, who has unfortunately had to pull out due to his TV commitments.

“As well as being hilarious and larger than life, Alison knows only too well what our contestants are going through, having taken part in Strictly Come Dancing herself.

“The audience are in for a fantastic night and as well as seeing some perfect 10s, we hope to raise lots of money for Forget Me Not Club’s ongoing work supporting people living with dementia.”

Limited tickets are still available for Strictly Come Prancing, which sees around 250 guests enjoying a drinks reception and dinner before watching the dancers and voting for their favourites.

After a dance-off, the overall winners will be crowned.

Last year’s event raised more than £20,000 for the charity and was won by Julie Goddard, marketing manager at Bancon Homes in Banchory, and her dance partner John I’Anson, who were crowned the winners after wowing the crowd with their cha-cha.

Julie will join Alison on the judging panel this year, alongside Emma Stewart of Deeside Dance Centre and David McGinley of Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services, the main sponsors of this year’s event.