BROMSGROVE police officer Gareth Keyte and his partner Dawn Owen have won the annual dance spectacular Strictly Worcestershire.
The event, held at the Chateau Impney in Droitwich, also raised £32,000 for county charities St Richard’s Hospice and the Rory the Robot Appeal.
Graeth and Dawn’s rumba and quickstep routines wowed the judging panel comprising Lord Digby Jones, broadcaster Bob Warman, dancer/choreographer Katie Love and choreographer Jennifer Bennett Price.
The couple’s success in a tense dance off with audience vote winners Amanda and Tim Whale was a remarkable achievement as Dawn broke her left arm during a rehearsal session fall just 12 days before the event.
Tied in third place were Jackie and Jim Harvey and Abi and Mark Williams.
Gareth told The Standard: “It was pretty tough – Amanda and Tim who we faced in the dance off were very good technically.
“With all the trials and tribulations along the way with the broken arm and bruised ribs it went really well and raising the cash for two real worthwhile charities was brilliant.
“We also had wonderful support from colleagues and friends.”
More than 800 people were in the audience, including Dawn’s family and Gareth’s son and daughter.
“They both said afterwards how proud they were of me which made it for me so win as well was the icing on the cake.”
The total raised via ticket sales and fund-raising on the night was further boosted by a £10,000 donation by Worcestershire Ambassadors, who will take over the running of the show in 2019 and are looking for contestants.
Sponsored by drp and A1 Recruitment Solutions, the event saw seven contestant couples strut their stuff in a bid to lift the prized glitterball trophy.
Alan Dedicoat, the voice of TV’s Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars in the USA, was the announcer and MC was BBC Hereford and Worcester presenter Elliott Webb.
To open the evening, the Supreme Showgirls performed a routine to There’s No Business Like Show Business and 2017 champions Fiona Watson and Jon Bell reprised their victorious American smooth.
Co-producer Julia Williams said: “The tireless efforts of our dancers and support from sponsors and volunteers have combined to create a truly memorable evening.
“The standard of dancing gets better every year and continues to astound the audience and judges alike.”