Strictly spectacular amount raised at Northampton Barclaycard event

Michelle Wall and Tim Martin, Hannah Fowler and Anthony White, Lis Walker and Graeme Hall, Belinda Quilter and Jonny Mulholland, Larissa Mann and Gabriel Gospodin, Kirsty Heeler and Andrius Backys NNL-151003-162012001
Michelle Wall and Tim Martin, Hannah Fowler and Anthony White, Lis Walker and Graeme Hall, Belinda Quilter and Jonny Mulholland, Larissa Mann and Gabriel Gospodin, Kirsty Heeler and Andrius Backys NNL-151003-162012001

Professional dancers from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing were on the judging panel to watch Northampton-based Barclaycard employees tango and waltz their way through a series of set routines in a charity show held at the town’s Deco theatre.

Aljaz Skorjanec, who lifted the famous glitter ball trophy with celebrity partner Abbey Clancey in the 2013 BBC TV show, and his real-life partner and fellow Strictly pro dancer, Janette Manrara, who partnered Jake Wood from EastEnders in the 2014 series judged the 18 couples in Strictly Barclaycard.

Larissa Mann and Gabriel Gospodin NNL-151003-162023001

Larissa Mann and Gabriel Gospodin NNL-151003-162023001

The contestants, who were partnered with professional and semi-professional dancers from Step by Step Dance School in Northampton, had to perform either a waltz or tango in front of the judging panel and then impress the judges and 780-strong audience with a freestyle routine.

The evening was won by Larissa Mann, change delivery manager in Barclaycard Risk Change and her professional dance teacher Gabriel Gospodin, and the event raised more than £35,000 for Wellingborough-based charity Niamh’s Next Step.

Strictly Barclaycard organiser, Caroline Pugh, said: “I am overwhelmed how much commitment and enthusiasm everyone in the show put in. We have raised such a fantastic amount for Niamh’s Next Step and everyone did so well!

“Each year the show gets bigger and bigger and more people want to be involved. This year we had more than 60 employees apply to take part and we even had 15 men from one team in Barclaycard ask to do a Dolly Parton line dance to raise more money on the night!

Jonny Mulholland and Belinda Quilter (Andrius Backys in the background) NNL-151003-162000001

Jonny Mulholland and Belinda Quilter (Andrius Backys in the background) NNL-151003-162000001

“Janette and Aljaz from BBC’s Strictly have been so supportive too and it was fantastic to have them judging for us for a second year running.”

Przemek Fokt, Aljaz Skorjanec, Janette Manrara and Philip McHugh NNL-151003-161949001

Przemek Fokt, Aljaz Skorjanec, Janette Manrara and Philip McHugh NNL-151003-161949001

Tracey Hales and Iain Gillespie NNL-151003-161938001

Tracey Hales and Iain Gillespie NNL-151003-161938001