Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Foxtrotting to Pounds 55,000; North East Celebrities Shimmy Their Way to Raising Cash for St Oswald's Hospice

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Foxtrotting to Pounds 55,000; North East Celebrities Shimmy Their Way to Raising Cash for St Oswald's Hospice

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Scott

CELEBRITIES from across the region shimmied their way onto the dance floor to show off their best Strictly dance moves and raised pounds 55,000 for a North East charity.

A host of famous faces from the North East took to the dance floor at St Oswald's Celebrity Strictly Dine and Dance on Saturday night. The celebrities battled it out in front of a panel of judges including Emmerdale's Charlie Hardwick, before BBC Look North's Jeff Brown was crowned St Oswald's Strictly Star 2011.

The runners up were former Newcastle United star John Beresford and his partner Lisa Fiddes and Metro Radio's Anna Foster and her partner Stuart Hatton.

Jeff Brown, who was voted the winner by members of the audience, said: "It's been absolutely amazing. Winning wasn't something we thought about when we started out. I think I was the first person to sign up to take part and I would definitely recommend it.

"Taking part was definitely the best part, it's been such a fun event. My partner Gemma has been fantastic, she's really enthusiastic.

"We've worked really well together and had a really fun time."

In total the night, at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, raised pounds 55,000 for St Oswald's Hospice, based in Gosforth.

He added: "There was such a cheer backstage from everyone taking part when it was announced that pounds 55,000 had been raised for St Oswald's.

"To have helped raise that much money for such a good, well established cause and for people to have enjoyed what we did is great.

"My mum has been dancing for years and she was just disappointed that I was doing the salsa because it's the only dance she doesn't know, so now I'm looking forward to teaching her the salsa."

The celebrities put themselves through three months of gruelling rehearsals to perfect their salsas and sambas to prepare for the event, which was hosted by North East entertainer Steve Walls and TV presenter Kim Inglis. …

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