TWO couples will star in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special to highlight the benefits of older people staying active.
Pauline and Roger Wheeler from Fareham and Tony and Denise Driscoll from Portsmouth all attended a festive tea dance hosted at Buckingham Palace by President of the National Osteoporosis Society Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall which will be shown on Christmas Day during Strictly.
Pauline, 67, said: ‘We were invited along by the Osteoporosis Society to the event in November because the Duchess is trying to encourage people to start dancing and do weight bearing activity to help your bones which is important for older people.’
Pauline has been a dance teacher in Portsmouth for over 30 years and found out she had osteoporosis when she was in her 50s.
She said: ‘I love dancing and to be invited to this tea dance was a real privilege and an honour.
‘There was lots of Strictly stars at the event and I got to dance with Anton Du Beke and Pasha Kovalev and they were both pretty good.’
Other famous faces from the BBC series at the tea dance were Janette Manrara, new head judge Shirley Ballas and Craig Revel Horwood, who is a patron of the National Osteoporosis Society and currently appearing in Snow White at Mayflower Theatre.
At the event, Craig said: ‘I’ve been a Patron of the National Osteoporosis Society for many years and it was a great pleasure to meet Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall again along with members of the National Osteoporosis Society.
‘The fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-changing, so it was fantastic to be able highlight the positive role dance can play in keeping all of our bones strong and healthy.’
Tony and Denise both suffer from pain as a result of osteoporosis and regularly attend dance classes taught by Pauline.
Denise, 71, said: ‘Dancing is extremely beneficial and helps us with balance and flexibility.
‘The tea dance at the Palace was a brilliant experience and it was really exciting.
‘We can’t wait to catch a glimpse of ourselves on the Strictly special on Christmas Day.’