Strictly mania!

Edwina Currie with her dance teacher Michael Hough
Edwina Currie with her dance teacher Michael Hough

AS STRICTLY mania grips the country, one Buxton man has swept a contestant off her feet – and will be at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom to see her take part in the show which marks this weekend’s glitterball final.

And it brings popular dance teacher Michael Hough full circle – as he was among the first dancers to appear on BBC TV’s groundbreaking Come Dancing show, from which the Strictly phenomenon takes its name.

Former MP Edwina Currie, who now lives in the High Peak, enjoyed her experience on Strictly Come Dancing so much that she decided to carry on dancing after being knocked out of the competition.

So she put an appeal out on Strictly’s BBC2 spin-off show It Takes Two for dance teachers in the Stockport area.

“I was inundated with e-mails – about half of which mentioned Michael and Jackie Hough,” Edwina explained.

“One of the comments that clinched it for me was that he has been teaching for 40 years and has the patience of a saint.”

And she added: “I love it. Being able to dance, particularly with my husband John, is a lovely thing to do.

“We get invited to speak on cruise ships where there is a lot of music and a lot of dancing so it’s nice to be able to dance.”

Edwina and her husband John Jones have been having dancing lessons with Michael throughout the autumn.

And Michael’s efforts are to be rewarded this weekend with a ticket to the grand final of Strictly in Blackpool where Edwina and her partner Vincent Simone will again take to the floor.

The couple will join the other eliminated contestants in a group dance during Saturday night’s primetime spectacle and Michael will have a ringside seat for his famous pupil’s performance.

Michael has been a dance teacher for over 40 years and before that, he danced competitively.

He said: “Teaching Edwina and John has been really good and I’m really looking forward to attending the live show at Blackpool thanks to Edwina getting me a ticket.”

* You can see Edwina’s performance during the live final, which is to be shown in 3D for the first time, this Saturday at 7pm on BBC1.