Wymondham's own Strictly Come Dancing

Move over Rachel Stevens and Austin Healey.This week ten new couples will be taking to the dance floor and attempting a foot perfect foxtrot or tango in front of the eagle-eyed judges.

Move over Rachel Stevens and Austin Healey.

This week ten new couples will be taking to the dance floor and attempting a foot perfect foxtrot or tango in front of the eagle-eyed judges.

But it isn't Len Goodman or Arlene Phillips they will have to impress.

These dancers will be hoping for a top score from the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, who is one of the judges at the Not Quite Strictly Come Dancing event being held to raise funds for Wymondham Abbey.

The couples who are all from the Wymondham area have been rehearsing for months to perfect their dance moves under the watchful eye of dance instructor Donna Poole, who is co-organising the event.

Tickets for the event at Wymondham's Central Hall on Friday night have already sold out.

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Local church fundraisers Anita Wilson and Doris Waymark came up with the idea based on the BBC hit show Strictly Come Dancing last year. They wanted to raise funds for Wymondham Abbey to provide new facilities and together with Mrs Poole they set to work making their idea a reality.

Rehearsals were in full swing yesterday and Mrs Poole praised the dedication of the competitors, who include local curate Lizzie Shipp.

She said: “They have all been so dedicated and we have had an absolute scream trying to put the choreography together. The competitors are taking this very seriously. For their outfits some have gone to charity shops while others are sewing sequins on. I admire them. It has been a tremendous effort.”

Alongside Bishop Graham on the judging panel will be Norfolk restaurateur Richard Hughes, John Mattocks, who appeared on the original series of Come Dancing in the 1950s, and Mrs Poole.

Organisers are hoping to raise £2,000 from the event.

Mrs Poole, a ballroom and Latin American dance instructor, said the popularity of dance shows like Strictly Come Dancing was being felt up and down the country.

“I cannot start new classes quickly enough,” she said. “I have got people coming from all over. It is brilliant. It is good exercise and good fun even at a low level.”

Giving her verdict on John Sergeant's shock exit from the BBC show, she said: “For me it was a shame. I think he should have stayed. His time probably would have come to an end naturally this week or next week.”

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