Celebrities will dance with wheelchair users in a new BBC Three variation of Strictly Come Dancing. Heather Small, Mark Foster, Michelle Gayle, ex Hollyoaks star Kevin Sacre, Martin Offiah and TV presenter Caroline Flack will partner wheelchair users who have never danced before in the six-part Dancing on Wheels. BBC Three controller Danny Cohen said: "This is a really important project for BBC Three, and underlines our commitment to covering disability in a mainstream way following the success of Britain's Missing Top Model last year." In Dancing On Wheels, the couples will be compete in a 'combi' event where a standing able-bodied dancer partners a wheelchair user. The winning couple will go on to represent the UK at the Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships in Israel this autumn. The wheelchair users include a 22-year-old Cambridge graduate, a 48-year-old magazine editor and mother, a cocky 31-year-old whose impressive acrobatic ability puts most able-bodied people to shame, a 24-year-old festival-goer, and a 23-year-old who recently got married to a girl he met while travelling in Thailand. They will have just five weeks to progress from novices to skilled exponents of the paso doble and cha-cha-cha.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.