Strictly Come Dancing stars take to the dancefloor to raise funds for Glasgow hospice

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AJ Pritchard from Strictly Come Dancing wowed fans when he took to the dancefloor at Glasgow Hilton with dance partner Abbie Quinnen to help raise money for The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.

The couple took to the dancefloor to wow the sell-out audience, performing the quickstep, waltz and salsa.

It was a fabulous night of glitter and glamour, hosted by broadcasters Bryan Burnett and Carol Smillie, that saw six couples made up of hospice supporters and professional dancers compete for the glitterball trophy, which was won by Jax Wrightson with dance partner Kevin Nicoll.

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Among the judges were AJ and Abbie, along with Glasgow entertainer Edward Reid and John Comrie, the head judge and the chairman of the British Association of Professional Teachers of Dancing of Scotland, all marking each couple and giving feedback on style and technical ability.

‘Great cause’

The special guests at this year’s award-winning (A Little Less) Strictly Come Dancing event, sponsored by the Malcolm group, AJ said: “We’re so excited to be here because it is such a great cause. This event raises money for patients and families who need the support of the hospice and we’re delighted to do what we can to help.

The contestants and dancers in the Strictly competition.The contestants and dancers in the Strictly competition.
The contestants and dancers in the Strictly competition. | Contributed

“Glasgow is a fantastic city, we’ve had such a warm welcome from everyone and totally blown away by the level of professionalism show by tonight’s contestants.”

‘Overwhelming’

“It was completely overwhelming to win,” said Jax. “It’s been the most incredible experience and I could not be more delighted.

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“A huge thanks to everyone who has supported me and donated money. Also special thanks to my dance partner, Kevin, who has been amazing throughout.

“He’s guided me through the whole process.”

Fundraiser

The sparkling display of ballroom routines that has become a hot ticket on the fundraising calendar of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice took place on Saturday and raised £75,000.

About 1200 patients are cared for by the hospice each year both in the hospice at Bellahouston Park and within the community.

It costs £5 million to provide free care to the people of Glasgow with only approximately £2 million of that coming from the NHS, with the rest fundraised at events like (A Little Less) Strictly Come Dancing.

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The Malcom Group sponsored the glittering event. Andrew Malcolm, CEO said: “The Malcolm Group are honoured to support such a prestigious event.

“The fun and entertainment it has provided over the past 12 years, along with the incredible funds raised really is a testament to the fundraising team.

“Another fabulous night … well done!”

‘Give back to the hospice’

Sisters Clare Cannon and Tracy Docherty battled it out on the dancefloor to raise money for the hospice after their mother, Tess Smyth, received care in 2010.

Tracy is also a volunteer within the hospice.

She said: “My mum wanted us to give back to the hospice for all the care she and the whole family received. The hospice allowed me to change my role from carer for my mum back to being a daughter. Since then, we’ve been doing all we can to support the hospice.”

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Sister Clare added: “We’ve been fundraising for the hospice of the past 12 years and have so far raised £83,000. But this challenge tonight has definitely been the toughest. We’ve managed to raise £19,000 between us for this event and it’s still rising. The care my mum got at the hospice was priceless, no amount of money will ever thank them for what they did for us.”

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