4th April 2016

X Factor star Christopher Maloney and Gogglebox duo to judge Southport ‘Strictly Ballroom’ event

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Gogglebox couple Leon and June join X Factor’s Christopher Maloney to judge Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation ‘Strictly Ballroom’ event

The nation’s favourite bickering telly-watchers, Leon and June Bernicoff, will be switching off their set to turn their critical gaze on contestants in this year’s ‘Strictly Ballroom’ charity events organised by Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The Liverpool pair, stars of the popular Channel 4 series ‘Gogglebox’, will be joining Christopher Maloney, who has starred in both ‘The X Factor’ on ITV and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ on Channel 5, to judge this year’s contest – which is based on the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ show.

June, who has been married to Leon since 1960, said: “We love ‘Strictly’ – it always looks great fun, even though the judges can be quite cruel sometimes. Still, you’ve got tell it like it is, haven’t you? We’re really looking forward to this – it’s a smashing event.”

Christopher agreed. He said: “As you know, the judges on The X Factor could be quite sharp with their comments – but if you have talent and personality, the public will take to you. That’s a lesson I learned, and I’ve always remembered it. So I’m aiming to be fair and encouraging to the contestants. It’s a brave thing to do, but worth it for such a great cause.”

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation ‘Strictly Ballroom’ nights offer the same mix of razzle-dazzle dancing and sheer dedication as the sequin-studded TV phenomenon.

Anyone taking part will receive ten hours of tuition from a professional ballroom dancer. The whole experience is captured on video, following their progress from learning their first steps, through the agonies and ecstasy of rehearsals, to perfecting their final routines. These ‘journey’ videos will be shown at the grand final where contestants perform in front of an audience and a panel of judges.

Director of Fundraising at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Jack Miller, said: “We match members of the public with professionals who compete on the international ballroom circuit.

“They work hard with our contestants who are often surprised by their own capabilities and the results really are astounding. It’s a fabulous evening of entertainment that is just like the television show! In fact, ‘Strictly’ has proved such a success that this year we’re running TWO events.”

Both will be held at Southport Theatre & Convention Centre, on Saturday 10th September and Saturday 26th November. There is still time for anyone – even those with little or no dance experience – to take part, either as a contestant or as a group dancer.

Added Jack Miller: “We’re offering people two great opportunities to immerse themselves in the glitz and glamour of the whole ‘Strictly’ experience and, at the same time, support our vital work supporting patients with lung cancer. Anyone taking part is a winner all the way!”

Closing date for entries is Friday 15 April. For an application form, call Event Manager Jenny Roberts on 0333 323 7200 or email jenny.roberts@roycastle.org.  For more information about the event, visit www.roycastle.org/strictlyballroom