The BBC has confirmed the six inspirational heroes and heroines that will be taking part in The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief.
The four-part series will air on BBC One in the lead up to this year’s Comic Relief and will follow the journeys of the six contestants as they take part in Strictly and perform for the nation in the Strictly ballroom. All of the contestants were nominated by the public and selected for their tireless and selfless work which has helped change so many lives for the better.
Each contestant will be paired with a Strictly pro and they will spend five weeks being immersed in the Strictly experience, as they prepare to become the new stars of the ballroom.
The contestants are:
- Phillip Barnett from Cornwall, who founded a children’s theatre charity in 1994 and has since raised over £2 million and staged over 70 shows.
- Trishna Bharadia from Buckinghamshire, who is living with MS and works hard to raise awareness around the condition.
- Anna Kennedy OBE from Middlesex, who set up the largest school for autism in the UK after her own autistic sons were turned away from mainstream education.
- Cassidy Little, originally from Canada but now lives in Peterborough. Cassidy was serving in Afghanistan as a medic for the Royal Marines when he was severely injured, losing the lower half of his leg in an explosion. His positivity has helped several of his colleagues through their time in rehab.
- Heather Parsons from Hampshire, who set up her own charity to support intensive care patients and their families, following her own near-death experience in intensive care.
- Michael Pattie from Dumfries, who has raised over £300,000 for meningitis charities, after losing his son to the disease.
Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One, says: “BBC One is the TV home of ballroom dancing so where better to see deserving, real-life heroes and heroines experience the sparkling joy of Strictly and all for such a great cause in Comic Relief.”
The four pre-recorded shows will be presented by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman with the first two episodes introducing the contestants as they find out that they have been selected for the show. The final episode will see all six contestants dance for the judges’ scores and the viewers’ votes with only the public vote impacting on the results.
Voting lines will open once all couples have danced and the winner of the public vote will then be crowned The People’s Strictly champion as part of the live Comic Relief show on BBC One on Friday 13 March 2015.