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A COUPLE from Durham were celebrating with glitter ball trophies last night when they wowed judges to be crowned champions at a charity dance contest.

Clare and David Irvine, from Fishburn, danced their way to victory at a Strictly-inspired event held at The Lancastrian Suite, Gateshead to raise money for St Cuthbert’s Hospice, Durham.

Their Charleston routine which included two lifts, a leap frog and an impressive cantilever move, was performed to The Blue’s Brothers Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. The song has special meaning for the couple, who celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary this week, as it was their wedding song.

Special Needs Teaching Assistant and Complementary Therapist Clare said: “This is strictly amazing. We never dreamed of winning and set out into the competition hoping to have a bit of fun, and raise some money for a great cause and we’ve certainly done that.”

“We are so proud to be able to support St Cuthbert’s, a local charity that helps so many local people. From my work I understand the important role that hospice’s play and how invaluable the care and support they offer is to those who need it.”

A crowd of over 350 attended the event, which raised almost £18,000 for the Durham hospice.

Twelve couples from the region competed in the event and received eight weeks free training from The Dudman Academy of Performing Arts in Fenham and Zazz Dance and Performing Arts Academy in Houghton- le- Spring ahead of Saturday night’s Grand Finale.

Jade McArdle Senior Community & Events Fundraiser said: “This is the third year we have held this event and each year it has just got better and better. The couples have really given their all and we were so impressed by all who took part in the Grand Finale. We are so grateful to everyone for their generosity and helping to raise such a huge amount.”

  • Anyone interested in taking part in Strictly St Cuthbert’s 2019 should contact the hospice’s development team on 0191 386 1170 ext 5.