Strictly: 'Real-life heroes' announced for Strictly Come Dancing special

Ever watched Strictly Come Dancing and thought 'I could do better than that?' Well, on Wednesday 25th February six lucky, non-celebrity contestants will be taking part in The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief!

All six contestants are deserving Strictly super fans, who were nominated by their friends and family, and chosen from thousands of entries for their tireless charity work.

Speaking about the Comic Relief special of Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore said: "BBC One is the TV home of ballroom dancing so where better to see deserving, real-life heroes and heroines experience the sparkling joy of Strictly and all for such a great cause in Comic Relief."

So who can we expect to see on our screens in the four-part special hitting our screens next week?

What's on TV can now reveal the deserving contestants are Philip Barnett, who raised £2million through his children’s theatre charity, MS sufferer and campaigner Trishna Bharadia, and Anna Kennedy, who set up a school for autistic children.

Joining them on the glitzy Strictly ballroom will be ex Royal Marine Cassidy Little, who lost a leg in Afghanistan, meningitis campaigner Michael Pattie, and Heather Parsons, who set up a charity to support intensive care patients.

During the four-part Strictly special, viewers will see each contestant partnered with one of Strictly’s professional dancers, as they spend five weeks training before competing in a one-off grand finale.

The show will be presented by regular hosts, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and the winner of the public vote will be crowned The People’s Strictly champion as part of Red Nose Day night on 13 March.

Episode one kicks off in a whirl of sequins and feathers on BBC1, Wednesday 25th February at 9pm.

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.