News Flash: Robin Windsor out of Strictly 12 due to back injury


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Nat's King Cole

She has always denied any hint of a romance, but we can reveal that Natasha Kaplinsky IS dating her Strictly Come Dancing partner Brendan Cole.At last weekend's 2004 TV Moments bash, 29-year-old Cole confessed to one of our spies: "It's just not the right time to announce our love in public.

"It's a difficult situation. We both have previous partners and we don't want to hurt people's feelings."

The ballroom pro added that BBC news presenter Nat was a "great person" and said they'd grown really close over the last few months.

So close, in fact, that they are rumoured to be house-hunting and have set their hearts on a luxury riverside apartment on the Thames.

They were shown around a three-bedroom property at the exclusive Battersea Reach complex in South-West London.

Yet Natasha has always denied they were having an affair.

She said recently, "We're just good friends". And, when pressed, described the question as "b******s".

The pair were certainly at pains to keep up the old pals act when they received a gong for Most Entertaining TV Moment Of The Year at the awards.

An onlooker tells us, "It was amusing to watch the act they put on. When there were cameras around they kept their distance, but once they thought no one was watching it was a different story.

"Their body language was incredibly intimate - Brendan had his hand on Natasha's bum and she was lovingly picking fluff from his lapel. They didn't look like they were just friends."

Breakfast host Natasha, 32, first waltzed into Brendan's life when he partnered her on the first series of BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing.

At the time, she was dating TV producer Lloyd Bracey, and Brendan was engaged to Camilla Dallerup - another dance teacher on the show.

The obvious sexual chemistry between Nat and Brendan, who went on to win, set tongues wagging.

And Camilla called off the engagement a few weeks after the show ended.

Suspicions that Nat and Brendan were closer than they were letting on were further aroused when she was caught glaring at him as he talked to blonde Casualty star Sarah Manners in the second series.

We're told, "Brendan was chatting to Sarah and it was obviously not going down well with Natasha. She was giving him evil glares."

Now that their secret's out, let's see her dance her way out of this one...

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Home Dancing

TV star Natasha Kaplinsky and her Come Dancing partner Brendan Cole are planning to buy a £600,000 home together.The couple have their hearts set on a luxury riverside apartment on the banks of the Thames. They were seen discussing the new purchase at a showhome in the exclusive Battersea Reach complex in South-West London.

A fellow buyer said: "Before looking at the apartment Brendan was discussing finances very loudly with a blonde woman. Natasha was asking about the gym. She wanted to know if it was open 24 hours.

"They were laughing at her asking about being able to use the rowing machine in the middle of the night."

The pair - with Brendan on crutches following key-hole surgery on a damaged tendon - were then taken to view a three-bedroom property at the front of the development worth £600,000. The homes start at over £360,000 and the penthouse apartments cost more than £1million.

Both Brendan, 29, and Natasha, 31, appeared relaxed and happy during the half-hour viewing

A fellow viewer said: "They were standing very close to each other."

The move looks set to seal their turbulent relationship, which first began when they danced together on Strictly Come Dancing. Both split from their respective partners, but the romance has been on and off ever since.

Recently they were seen kissing backstage at a theatre in Halifax, West Yorks, where Brendan was appearing in Cinderella, and Brendan reportedly spent more than £5,000 on Tiffany jewellery for Natasha at Christmas.

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Come Dancing couple spark love nest rumours

TV star and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky is planning to buy a home with former Strictly Come Dancing partner, Brendan Cole, the Sunday Mirror claims.The pair met during the first series of the celebrity dance contest and their on-screen chemistry soon sparked rumours that they had waltzed into an off-screen relationship.

The paper reports that the couple joined fellow-house seekers during a recent viewing of a show home in south-west London's exclusive Battersea Reach complex.

It is claimed that the couple were then given a tour of a £600,000 three-bedroom property at the front of the luxury riverside development.

Unnamed fellow viewers told the paper the couple looked happy during the half-hour tour.

"Before looking at the apartment Brendan was discussing finances very loudly with a blonde woman. Natasha was asking about the gym. She wanted to know if it was open 24 hours," one fellow buyer told the Sunday Mirror.

"They were laughing at her asking about being able to use the rowing machine in the middle of the night."

The alleged on-off relationship between Natasha, 31 and 29-year-old New Zealand dancer, Brendan has been the subject of tabloid rumour for some time.

The Sunday Mirror claims the pair were recently spotted kissing backstage at the Halifax theatre where Brendan was starring in pantomime.

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TV's turn-on moments

It's yet another shameless list of television favourites - but which one will be crowned the top TV moment of 2004?Coronation Street has a fine tradition of women brawling on the Weatherfield cobbles, and last year was no different.

Gail coming to blows with Eileen when she found out that daughter Sarah's partner Todd was gay is one of five nominations for Best Popular Drama Moment.

Or how about Manchester Channel 4 hit Shameless, up for Best Drama Moment for the scene when Frank Gallagher had to pretend to be dead to escape the debt collectors, but refused to get back into his coffin?

The fourth annual awards show, hosted by Jonathan Ross, is screened on BBC1 at 8pm next Wednesday in front of a celebrity audience.

Eighteen of the 28 nominations are for BBC shows, but all were picked by independent industry experts and viewing panels.

Little Britain - one of the big small screen successes of last year - is up for Best Comedy Moment for the scene where Harvey introduces his fiancee to his parents, but is too hungry to wait for his dinner.

Blazing

It faces competition from three other programmes, including The Keith Barrett Show, for the edition when Keith took questions from his audience for guests Richard and Judy. Another contender in this category is the Channel 4 comedy Green Wing for the scene in which doctors Mac, Caroline and Guy perform an operation speaking only in Geordie accents.

Chef Gordon Ramsay's blazing row with Edwina Currie, in which he accused her of doing to him what she did to former prime minister John Major, is one of the clips in line for Best Factual Entertainment Moment.

He cooks up a competition with himself in the same category. Gordon's Channel 4 series Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is shortlisted for his reaction after sampling local restaurant scallops which were off. Another nomination in this category is Michael Buerk's return to Ethiopia 20 years after first reporting on the famine.

Buerk's BBC news colleague, ex-royal correspondent Jennie Bond is also nominated for time she spent underground in a grave full of rats, thanks to those nice people at I'm A Celebrity {hellip} Get Me Out Of Here!

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole "Dirty Dancing" for Strictly Come Dancing may waltz off with the Best Entertainment Moment, though it faces competition from Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, when the host discovered Trinny and Susannah were a bit of a handful.

Among the contenders for Best Sporting Moment are Kelly Holmes winning her first Olympic gold medal in the 800m in Athens, Britain's 4x 100m relay squad just pipping the US team to gold, Maria Sharapova's Wimbledon Singles Final win at the age of 17 and Matthew Pinsent's golden triumph in the Olympic Coxless Fours.

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Mr Nasty best paid brit on TV

Pop Idol and X Factor judge Simon Cowell is the highest paid Briton on TV, a report has found.Cowell, known for his cutting put-downs to wannabes, earned £18million in 12 months from Pop Idol in the US and Britain, and from his own talent show the X Factor.

Actors John Mahoney and Jane Leeves, from US sitcom Frasier, were second and fourth on the list, while chat king Jerry Springer was seventh.

Of the top 10, only quiz show presenter Chris Tarrant and comedians Graham Norton and Peter Kay made their millions at home the UK.

Bolton-born Kay earned £4.5million from his series Phoenix Nights, his John Smith's beer adverts and best-selling Live At The Bolton Albert Halls DVD.

The Osbournes together earned £7million, largely due to Sharon being on the X Factor.

Weakest Link host Anne Robinson made £10million, while Mirror columnist and Countdown star Carol Vorderman was 11th with £4.3million.

Naked Chef Jamie Oliver made £1.2million from TV appearances and advertising Sainsbury's.

Frank Skinner was 13th on £3million, followed by Steve Coogan, £2.5million, Gary Lineker, £2.5million, Jonathan Ross, £2.5million, Ricky Gervais, £2.35million, Kim Cattrall, £2.3million, and Claire Sweeney, £2.2million.

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The trick is not to win

Jonathan Davies (Rugby): I must be mad. Why am I doing this? It's all too physical. There's no room for the skilful little guys! Still, I've been practising my dips on the bannisters back home. Just watch me go. Its my specialist event. Magic. If this was It's a Knockout I would play the joker and go for double points. When are they bringing that back?John Barnes (Football): I'm still looking for some swimming trunks that fit. Actually I'm OK at swimming until I have to breathe. How do they do that? Have you got your karaoke act sorted for the party yet, Jiffy? Let me guess, Tom Jones and Delilah? The organisers are paying me big money not to sing World in Motion. Did I ever tell you that went top 10? Top of the Pops, the works. They don't produce records like that any more do they?

John Regis (Athletics): Thank God! OK guys, huddle around for a minute. Some advice from an old bugger who has been here before. The trick is, under no circumstances, to win - otherwise you have to enter the main competition later on and you will be completely knackered and have to stay off the pop. I'm too old for this lark but my wife says it helps keep my weight down. Thank God they've introduced the shot put. That's my kind of event these days.

Barry McGuigan (Boxing): Speak for yourself John - do I look like a shot putter? I'm so ancient-looking these days old ladies offer to help me across the road. I'm just looking forward to meeting Amir Khan when we are finished and seeing what the lad is made of.

Tim Foster (Rowing): Hi guys! I'm one of the blokes who used to row with Steve and Matt. It's all right, nobody ever remembers our names, it comes with the territory. I have never been so nervous as this, though. I've had two major back ops and a vet would have put me down by now. I might be the youngest here but I am the most knackered. Whose round is it?

Bryan Robson (Football): My shout. Of course we've heard of you - you're the long-haired student bloke, the stylist who made them all look good and kept everything running neat and tidy. Am I right? I'd run you close on the injury stakes, Tim. We ought to compare scars: I once had three broken legs in a year at West Brom, not to mention busted shoulders, dislocated collarbones, torn Achilles and ripped groins at Manchester United. You name it, I've broken it. And another thing - my ankle is swelling up as we talk. I should be sponsored by Bupa.

Martin Offiah (Rugby): Saga more like, Robbo. In fact they should do us as a job lot. The trouble with being a rugby player is that everybody remembers Andy Ripley and Keith Fielding and expects us to do well. I wasn't really fit last year but, what with Strictly Come Dancing, I'm OK this time around. I can't believe how tough that show was. The weight just dropped off. Ellery, you were always a good mover on the dance floor, you doing the next series?

Ellery Hanley (Rugby): No way. Now tell me something. And you Jiffy - you were both union chaps before we lured you north. Why all this fuss about Clive Woodward's 'revolutionary' approach with England and the Lions? What's all that about? Manchester United and Wigan were there 20 years ago with all their attention to detail and scientific application to training. That's why they were champions. All Clive has done is bring rugby union into the real professional world.

Jonathan Davies: You're probably right, Ellery, but back to the subject in hand. What are we doing here? We are deep in the manure, boys. How are we going to bluff this one out and look like superstars? Why did they stop the programme when we were fit and in our pomp? Still, watch me go in the dips. Barman…?

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My Kaplinsguy

Together..TV Natasha & the Come Dancing partner she said she's split from. Natasha Kaplinsky and her Strictly Come Dancing partner Brendan Cole are an item again.The smiling pair were stepping out after Brendan spent the night at the TV beauty's new riverside home last week.

An onlooker who spotted them in Chiswick, west London, said: "It was quite a surprise when they came out together just after midday and looked a devoted couple in love.

"Brendan seemed really pleased with himself as they walked down the road and he helped Natasha ride her trendy scooter."

The spark between BBC presenter Natasha, 31, and Kiwi dance ace Brendan was always obvious to viewers and both split from their long-term lovers.

Then the relationship seemed to cool - and the TV star got back in touch with her ex Lloyd Bracey, 48.

But she and Brendan, 28, were thrust together again for the Strictly Come Dancing Champions of Champions special.

They also had a passionate meeting last month at the theatre in Halifax, West Yorks, where Brendan was appearing in Cinderella.

A theatre source said: "They were kissing and hugging in the corridor backstage. It was a full-on kiss, not just a peck on the cheek. When they noticed that they had been seen they went into his dressing room."

The pair later had a romantic meal at a local restaurant. "They were holding hands and staring into each other's eyes, all very lovey dovey," the source revealed."

And Brendan was delighted when Natasha invited him to her place.

Last night when asked about their relationship, Brendan said: "No comment. It's no one's business but our own."

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Natasha is a winner

Natasha was voted a winner on the BBC 2 show, Winners and Losers. She came 6th in the poll and was also interviewed in the show. Carol Vorderman was also voted a winner for her photoshoot and cover in the magazine GQ.

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Natasha in town for twirl with star

TV dance partners Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole, pictured, were reunited in Halifax over the weekend.The BBC newsreader came to see Brendan star in Cinderella where his fancy footwork has already wowed crowds at the Victoria Theatre.

The pair were rumoured to have struck up a relationship during filming the first series of Strictly Come Dancing, which they won.

They were back together in Halifax to film a Christmas special of the hit dance show.

Emma Booth, marketing officer for the Victoria Theatre, said: "They were filming Brendan in the panto and Natasha was in the audience. Then she went back- stage to congratulate him. It's very exciting.

"Natasha's been in Halifax to support Brendan in panto and to rehearse their routines for the Christmas special."

Natasha also popped in to Cafe Vero in the town centre. Owner Kate Lombardi said: "She came in on Friday and then on Saturday with Brendan a few minutes before we were due to close. But we let them in. She's very nice."

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It's curtain up for Cinders showtime

The cast of the Victoria Theatre's Cinderella have been putting the finishes touches to this year's Christmas panto, ready for its opening night tonight.Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole could not make this weekend's dress rehearsal as he had filming commitments for a Christmas special of the TV hit.

But the light-footed heartthrob, who will play Prince Charming, will be waltzing his way into Halifax for tonight's performance.

Tickets have been selling like hot cakes for Cinderella, which also stars Stacey Cadman, of CBBC's Cavegirl and Sky TV's Mile High.

Theatre marketing officer Emma Booth said: "Some of the performances have almost sold out. Ticket sales have been phenomenal.

"We have tried to make this year's panto even more spectacular. We think people will love it. It's going to be absolutely fantastic."

The theatre foyer will also be looking the part after students from Calderdale College decorated it to create a fairytale experience from the moment theatre-goers walk in.

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SCD Series 1

Information about the first Series of Strictly Come Dancing...

Are today's celebrities fleet of foot or do they have two left feet?

That's the question Bruce Forsyth and co-host Tess Daly will be finding the answer to when they present Strictly Come Dancing, beginning 15 May on BBC 1 and BBC 3.

The eight celebrities who have dared to pair up with some of the world's leading professional dancers are officially revealed today (Wednesday 21 April) as:

  • Martin Offiah (Rugby Player)
  • Lesley Garrett (Opera Singer)
  • David Dickinson (Presenter)
  • Verona Joseph (Actress - Jess Griffin in Holby City)
  • Jason Wood (Comedian)
  • Natasha Kaplinsky (Newsreader)
  • Christopher Parker (Actor - Spencer Moon in EastEnders)
  • Claire Sweeney (Actress/presenter)

Host Bruce Forsyth says: "I am delighted to have been asked to present Strictly Come Dancing and it will be so nice to have dancing of a different type on TV."

Each celebrity is given a professional dance partner who will put them through their paces during daily rehearsals, ensuring they're in the best possible shape for the live Saturday night performance on BBC 1.

Co-host Tess Daly says: "It's a dream come true to be working alongside two show business legends - Bruce Forsyth and Come Dancing.

"I can't wait to see how our dancers and celebrity partners get along."

But it's not as simple as it sounds - after the relative safety of week one, the partnerships will face a public and studio vote from week two onwards, with the lowest scoring team being knocked out.

In addition to a panel of studio judges, phonelines will be open for viewers to call and vote for who they believe has put in the best performance.

The result will then be taken from the average of these scores with all profits going towards Sport Relief.

By the final week, just two teams will remain as they compete to win the coveted crown of Strictly Come Dancing champions.

In addition to the weekly show on BBC 1, viewers will be able to track the teams' progress in a daily show on BBC 3.

There will be exclusive footage from the rehearsals and updates on training, as well as interviews with the contestants.

And for any wallflowers out there, an item called Dance-Mate promises to pair viewers up with other dance fans looking for a partner to tango with.

Head of BBC Entertainment Group, Wayne Garvie, said: "Strictly Come Dancing's a show that really does have something for everyone and for viewers of all ages.

"It's going to be really good fun and it's great to see someone of Bruce's calibre presenting."

Strictly Come Dancing is a BBC Format Entertainment Production. The executive producer is Karen Smith.

All proceeds go to Sports Relief. For further information, please go to www.sportrelief.com. Sport Relief is an initiative of Comic Relief, registered charity 326568.

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Jason Wood and Kylie Jones

Jason Wood and Kylie Jones...

The stand-up comic who's looked for a challenge.

Singing stand-up comedian Jason is successfully carving out a niche for himself in the comedy world with his spectacular singing impersonations and acerbic wit.

He is currently in great demand and headlines wherever he performs. He had a hit at the Edinburgh Festival last year with 'Jason Wood Gets His Hits Out For The Lads!', and is planned a return in August.

He has also been a presenter of Spy TV for the BBC, and is developing a sitcom called Dagenham.

Kylie is a sweet, homely northerner who loves Pilates and specialises in Ballroom Dancing.

She grew up in Atherton, Manchester and turned professional after winning The World Championships in Miami in September 2001.

She currently teaches Pilates classes at health clubs around the South London area and is looking for the perfect dance partner after splitting from hers at the end of 2002.

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Claire Sweeney and John Byrnes

Claire Sweeney and John Byrnes...

Presenter, Actress and Performer, Claire played the well-loved Lindsay Corkhill in Brookside for six years.

She trained at the Elliot-Clark Drama School in Liverpool and at 18 won a place at London's famous Italia Conti stage school.

This dramatic background helped Claire's performances on the show.

The challenge of the fab frocks and elaborate make-up wasn't too much of a challenge for Claire. She's the presenter of Sixty Minute Makeover for ITV.

John is a hyperactive Ozzie who strongly believes he can teach anyone to dance a Cha Cha Cha.

He specialises in Latin American Dancing. He is the United Kingdom Closed Latin American Champion 2002.

His Professional Dance Partner is Jayne Littleton-Burns. They danced together for 17 years before retiring in 2002. They are also married.

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Christopher Parker and Hanna Karttunen

Christopher Parker and Hanna Karttunen...

Actor Christopher played Spencer Moon in EastEnders, brother of Alfie (Shane Richie) who runs the Queen Vic pub.

Christopher received over 2,000 letters a week from adoring fans and while he had no formal dance training, he's certainly looked forward to the challenge.

Christopher goes to the gym three or four times a week with a personal trainer. "I can't put on weight though, no matter how much I eat. My skin's spotty now, but I do wash it and I use products. The make up in EastEnders brings you out in spots!"

Hanna is know as the 'Finnish Tigress'. She is very animated and ultra glamorous and specialises in Latin American Dancing.

Winner of the The World Cup, The World Trophy and The World Series 2003.

Her Professional Dance Partner is Paul Killick, also part of Strictly Come Dancing. They have been dancing together for five years.

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Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole

Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole...

She's not the first newsreader turned dancer.

Natasha presents Breakfast News on BBC ONE, with Dermot Murnaghan.

Sophie's an expert at looking calm in difficult situations - she's used to waking up at three in the morning to present Breakfast News.

Natasha joined Breakfast in November 2002, when Sophie Raworth left to become co-presenter of the BBC's Six O'clock News.

She says: "The first thing Sophie said when she handed over was it's a fantastic job - once you've got your head around the working hours."

She certainly doesn't see her future on the dance floor!

Brendan is a strapping Kiwi who used to be a builder and specialises in Latin American Dancing.

He is Asian Pacific Latin American Champion and New Zealand Latin American Champion.

His Professional Dance Partner used to be Camilla Dallerup, also part of Strictly Come Dancing.

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Verona Joseph and Paul Killick

Verona Joseph and Paul Killick...

From Holby City to the dancefloor.

Actress Verona plays Nurse Jess Griffin in Holby City. Verona's fought hard to get onto Holby: "I was a typical jobbing actress going from show to show. I was in Casualty, Vicar of Dibley, Doctors and a couple of films. My plan was just to keep going and not give up."

Although she's never learnt to dance professionally, Verona did do some contemporary dance at Drama School.

Her favourite moves are the 'Beyonce style shake', R'n'B and Hip Hop.

She hopes to exceled in the Latin side of the show and couldn't wait to get started.

Paul is one of the biggest names in the Latin Dance World, he is extremely competitive and has to win.

In 2003 he was Winner of The World Cup, The World Trophy and The World Series.

His Professional Dance Partner is Hanna Karttunen, also part of Strictly Come Dancing - they have been dancing together for five years.

Paul is London born and bred, he grew up in Dulwich, South West London.

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David Dickinson and Camilla Dallerup

David Dickinson and Camilla Dallerup...

From antiques expert to nifty mover.

Television presenter, antique dealer and cult figure, David has no formal dance training but is always up for a new challenge.

He is famed for his smart clothes and immaculate appearance, which made him a perfect candidate for Strictly Come Dancing.

David Dickinson received the National Television Award For The Most Popular Daytime Show in October 2002 for Bargain Hunt.

He has also posed nude for The Radio Times.

Camilla is a blonde, Danish beauty with huge charisma who specialises in Latin American Dancing.

She is Asian Pacific Latin American Champion and New Zealand Latin American Champion.

Her Professional Dance Partner used to be Brendan Cole, also part of Strictly Come Dancing. They danced together for nine years and were engaged.

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Lesley Garrett and Anton du Beke

Lesley Garrett and Anton du Beke...

Born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, Opera Singer Lesley is known for her great charisma and natural stage presence, as well as her amazing voice.

Later in the year she will sing the role of The Fox in Rachel Portman's new opera, The Little Prince, to be filmed for BBC2.

Lesley was awarded a CBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List for Services to Music.

She loves dancing and plans to continue ballroom dancing with her husband for many years to come.

Anton is a typical English Gentleman with a naughty sense of humour who specialises in Ballroom Dancing.

He is IDTA Classic Champion 2003.

His Professional Dance Partner is Erin Boag also part of Strictly Come Dancing.

Anton grew up in Sevenoaks, Kent.

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Martin Offiah and Erin Boag

Martin Offiah and Erin Boag...

Martin Offiah is a England rugby legend known as "Chariots" scored more than 500 tries in a career that spanned 14 years.

He enjoyed dancing and was in a school dance group until the age of 15.

Martin was keen to try and convert this into success on the dance floor.

Erin is a strong, vivacious Kiwi, British National Finalist who specialises in Ballroom Dancing.

Her Professional Dance Partner is Anton Du Beke, also part of Strictly Come Dancing.

She is now a professional Ballroom competitor who teaches and performs all over the world. She currently teaches the Cambridge University dance team.

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G'day for cult Aussie musician Rolf

Cult Australian musician, artist and television presenter Rolf Harris has been named Showbusiness Personality of the Year by the Variety Club.The Variety Club's 52nd Annual Showbusiness Awards also gave Matt Lucas and David Walliams the Comedy Award for Little Britain, the surreal sketch show which has won critical acclaim and a steadily growing audience.

Elsewhere, The Producers scooped the Musical Theatre Award while Radio Personality of the Year was BBC Radio One breakfast show host, Chris Moyles. The Daily Express Readers Award for Most Loved Entertainer went to Cilla Black.

Rachel Stevens' successful transition to solo artist is recognised with her Recording Artist of the Year prize. Michael Crawford won Outstanding Stage Performance of the Year for his role in The Woman in White.

Two BBC stars won awards with Natasha Kaplinsky getting Terrestrial TV Personality of the Year and Fearne Cotton winning The Caron Keating Young Presenter of the Year award.

Kaplinsky presents BBC Breakfast as well as the new series of Strictly Come Dancing while Cotton is a Top of the Pops presenter.

Sir David Frost won The Bernard Delfont Award for Outstanding Contribution to Showbusiness while singer Amy Winehouse won the Sir James Carreras Award for Outstanding New Talent.

Yvette Fielding and Derek Acorah scooped Multichannel TV Personality of the Year for their show, Most Haunted.

Outstanding Performance in a TV Drama went to James Nesbitt while Outstanding Film Performance of the Year went to Enduring Love star Daniel Craig.

The awards were held in association with Express Newspapers.

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