Belfast Telegraph

'Real-life heroes' in Strictly show

A former Royal Marine who had one of his legs blown off in Afghanistan is among six "real-life heroes" taking part in a Strictly Come Dancing Comic Relief special.

Cassidy Little, from Peterborough, was serving as a medic when he lost the lower half of his right leg in an explosion in Helmand province.

He was nominated to take part in The People's Strictly for Comic Relief along with five other fans of the show who will all be paired with a professional dancer and train for weeks before stepping onto the dancefloor.

The other contestants include Phillip Barnett, who founded a children's theatre charity in St Ives, MS campaigner Trishna Bharadia from Marlow in Buckinghamshire and Anna Kennedy from Uxbridge who set up a school for autistic children after her own sons were diagnosed with it.

The line-up is completed by Heather Parsons from Hampshire, who set up a charity to help patients in intensive care after she was treated for a near fatal infection, and Michael Pattie from Dumfries who has raised more than £300,000 for meningitis charities after losing his son to the disease.

BBC One boss 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."

The dancers will face the judging panel and the verdict of the public, in the show hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, with the champion unveiled on Red Nose Day on Friday March 13.

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