Mum is picked for BBC dance show
AN UXBRIDGE mum is waltzing on to TV screens as a contestant on a noncelebrity edition of Strictly Come Dancing.
Anna Kennedy will star in the five-part show in aid of Comic Relief that starts tonight on BBC1 alongside all the Strictly regulars, Anton du Beke, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman, and hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.
Anna, 54, set up schools and support for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and was awarded the OBE for services to special needs education. She will be one of six ‘everyday heroes’ taking part in The People’s Strictly. She said: “I’m a big fan of the show and have watched it since it first started. It’s bonkers – I’ve gone from trying to get tickets to the show to performing on it!”
Some 11,000 people were nominated to appear on The People’s Strictly. This was whittled down to 25 before the final six were confirmed. The first episode will feature three of the six contestants, and show their ‘big reveal’, where they learn they have been chosen to appear on the show.
Anna’s big reveal takes place on Wednesday, March 4, and the following day viewers can see how she and the five other contestants get by in training.
On March 11 the actual dance show will be broadcast, where Mrs Kennedy will perform the Charleston and a group dance number, with the winner announced on Red Nose Day on March 13.
While she cannot give anything away about her big reveal, she did say she was blown away when she found out. She said: “I was gob-smacked. I thought I was going to pass out. Tess and Claudia had to hold me up.
“I was told that someone had put my name forward but then didn’t hear anything else and forgot about it.”
Anna will partner Robin Windsor and will be mentored by former Strictly contestant Jake Wood – better known to millions as Max Branning in EastEnders. She said: “It’s scary but I’m very excited. I couldn’t wish for a better partner in Robin, and Jake has been great, texting me to see how I’m getting on. I was watching EastEnders last week and was glad it wasn’t him who killed Lucy Beale!”
Anna, who tap-danced as a child before taking it up again in recent years, set up Hillingdon Manor School in Harlington Road in 1999 and hopes her appearance on the show will raise awareness of special needs education. She is married with two autistic sons. She also hopes Hillingdon will come out in force and vote for her during the show.
BLOWN AWAY: Anna Kennedy is very excited to be dancing with Robin Windsor
Photo by Ray Burmiston