Strictly star raise funds for charity

Giovanni Pernice wowed fans when he took to the dance floor at Glasgow Hilton with dance partner Luba Mushtuk. Pic: Nick Ponty
Giovanni Pernice wowed fans when he took to the dance floor at Glasgow Hilton with dance partner Luba Mushtuk. Pic: Nick Ponty

Performer Giovanni Pernice from BBC television series Strictly Come Dancing wowed fans when he took to the dancefloor at Glasgow Hilton to help raise money for a good cause recently.

Giovanni danced with his partner Luba Mushtuk at this year’s award-winning (A Little Less) Strictly Come Dancing event to help raise money for The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.

Giovanni said they loved performing for Scottish audiences because they’re so loud.

He said: “We’re so excited to be here because it is such a great cause. This event raises money for patients and families who need the support of the hospice and we’re delighted to do what we can to help.

“We’ve been to Glasgow before with the Strictly Live tour and love the city, the crowds are absolutely fantastic.”

The couple wowed the sell-out audience, dancing the Argentinian tango, rhumba and jive.

It was a fabulous night of glitter and glamour, hosted by broadcasters Bryan Burnett and Rhona MacLeod, which saw six couples made up of hospice supporters and professional dancers compete for the glitterball trophy, which was won by Ian Johnstone and Tracy Donald.

Ian said: “It was completely overwhelming to win, I really feel I’ve done everyone proud.

“More than 80 people came along to support me and I raised more than £8000 for the hospice. I loved doing the performance!”

Among the judges were Giovanni and Luba, along with BBC Scotland presenter Kaye Adams and John Comrie, the head judge and the chairman of the British Association of Professional Teachers of Dancing of Scotland, all marking each couple and giving feedback on style and technical ability.

The sparkling display of ballroom routines that has become a hot ticket on the fundraising calendar of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice took place on Saturday, March 11 and raised £60,000.

That comes after winning cause-related event of the year at the Drum Scottish Event Awards for 2016.

Sarah Kelso, who works for Scottish Enterprise, was runner up and said she has had many friends and relatives who have relied on the hospice’s services.

She said: “Training was great fun, on the day we were all a bit nervous but the important thing was to remember why we were all doing this, it really made the whole experience worthwhile.”

The healthcare facility provides free palliative care and is moving to a new purpose-built site in Bellahouston Park next year, on land gifted by Glasgow City Council. About 1100 patients are cared for by the hospice each year and it provides support for about 400 patients and family members at any one time.