Strictly stars Denise Van Outen and Gethin Jones watch Manchester’s business leaders do ballroom battle

Denise Van Outen Aisha Kamani

Cheadle-based charity Seashell Trust quickstepped its way to a record-breaking £123,000 at its glittering fundraiser – helped by former Strictly Come Dancing celebrity stars Denise Van Outen and Gethin Jones.

Following ten weeks of intensive training, nine big names from north west business and society went from non-dancers to a toe-to-toe public dance-off at Manchester’s glitzy Hilton Hotel.

Actress Denise showed off her expertise, after coming runner up on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, by heading up the judging panel.  Meanwhile Welsh TV and radio presenter Gethin, third in 2007, compered the spectacular show.

The Hits Radio presenter acknowledged the bravery of the Strictly Seashell dancers, saying: “A big shout out to our contestants who have never danced before! I’ve been there, it’s nerve-racking.”

Joanne Gallemore Hut Group

Overall champion was Joanne Gallemore, from The Hut Group, who wowed the judges with her quickstep receiving the coveted perfect score of four 10s.  PrettyLittleThing matriarch Aisha Kamani’s cha cha cha captured the audience’s imagination and she won the viewers’ phone vote on the night.

Aisha Kamani

Also competing on the night were Michael Josephson MBE, managing director of Stocks 2015 Ltd, Sanjeev Bhatia, Director of Terminal 1 clothing, Jodie Moulding, also from The Hut Group, Martine Tempest-Mitchell from Timpson Group, Lisa Morton director of Roland Dransfield PR, the Director of Home Bargains Joe Morris and I Love MCR’s very own assistant editor Dianne Bourne.

The dance hopefuls were partnered with experienced dancers from Cadmans Dance Centre in Sale, Academy of Dance Wilmslow and Hayley Pearson of Boodles.

Strictly Seashell contestants

The event raised £123,000 with money still coming in to the Seashell Trust charity, which provides care and education for children and young people with complex learning difficulties and communication needs.

Dominic Tinner, head of fundraising at Seashell Trust, said: “The event exceeded our wildest expectations. Our sponsors, dancers and their friends once again took Seashell Trust to their hearts to raise a record-breaking amount for the charity.

Denise Van Outen judging

“The funds will go directly to supporting our work educating and caring for some of the most profoundly disabled children and young people who have little or no ability to communicate verbally. I know they and the staff want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those involved.”

Gethin Jones

Make Events was the official event partner and sponsors included PZ Cussons, The HUT Group, Together Money, PrettyLittleThing, Morson and Boodles.


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