Blind ambition for Strictly winner

Integral blinds manufacturer Morley Glass and Glazing’s managing director Ian Short has been crowned the winner in the Variety’s Strictly Ballroom competition and raised more than £10,000 for the children’s charity.

Ian was one of 10 amateur dancers and their professional dance partners who trained for three months before competing in front of a star-studded judging panel, featuring the X Factor’s Ray Quinn, choreographer Ian Banham, and professional dancer Jemma Girling.

The charity event, which was hosted by TV presenter Gethin Jones, raised a total of £39,500, which is enough to buy a new Sunshine Coach.

“This has been a life changing experience; I’ve lost four stone in weight, stopped smoking, and helped to raise more than £10,000 for a fabulous cause,” Ian said. “It’s been completely humbling and I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored and supported me and my dance partner Olivia Choi from the North Leeds Dance Academy.

“We were absolutely thrilled to win both the judges’ and audience trophies.”

Ian and Olivia danced the samba and have already committed to entering more dance competitions and will “keeeep dancing”.

Variety provides practical, tangible help to children in the UK coping with sickness, disability or disadvantage.