17 Oct 2014
Today TV legend and former Come Dancing host Angela Rippon returned to the dance floor to judge the dance moves of the 14 finalists of Anchor’s Strictly Dancing 2014.
Run by Anchor, the competition is in its second year, with the final this year taking place at the iconic Rivoli Ballroom in South East London – one of the filming locations for the Strictly Come Dancing series.
The 14 finalists, made up of residents, staff and family members from across Anchor's care homes and retirement housing, had to first compete in regional heats in order to make it to the final. At the final the dancers faced a judging panel of Angela Rippon, Anchor CEO Jane Ashcroft and Contact the Elderly Executive Officer Cliff Rich.
The winners for the retirement housing competition were Arnold and Alacia Elliot from Sandyford Park in Jesmond who performed their dance to Rebel Heart.
Roger Edwards and care assistant Minnie McAndrews from Larchfield care home in Leeds, won the care home category. Minnie played a wife pining for her husband who had gone to war, and Roger played the husband returning from war to dance the Moonlight Serenade.
Angela Rippon said: “Judging Anchor’s Strictly Dancing final has been a really rewarding experience and it was great to be back on the dance floor at the Rivoli after all these years!
“I was impressed by the standard of the dancing and the atmosphere was fantastic. I think all older people should consider dance as a way of keeping active, having fun and making friends.
“My congratulations go out to the winners – their victory was well deserved!”
Winner Roger Edwards, who was dancing care assistant Minnie McAndrew, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our day, competing against all the other couples was great fun and it was so nice to socialise and make new friends from all over the country.
“It was great to win – we never expected it but it has certainly made all the practice worth it! The atmosphere was fantastic as were all the dancers. We represented Yorkshire and the county can be proud of our success.”
Finalists Charles Lordan and Coral Evans from Rose Court care home also became stars for the day featuring on BBC London News. They were followed from their last-minute rehearsal in front of customers at the home in Rotherhithe, to taking part in the final at the Rivoli, where they received a highly commended certificate. After the competition ended the couple raced back to see the programme with everyone else at their home.