I have always wanted to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. But, despite years of stalking BBC TV Centre with my nose pressed up against the window, my attempts have so far been without success. Instead I have had to console myself with Saturday night sofa voting for former colleagues Kate Garraway; Dan Lobb; Andrew Castle; Russell Grant - the list goes on and on.
So imagine my delight when I was asked to take part in a charity version of the dance competition. Finally I would be able to show off the steps I'd learned while being whisked around the Blackpool Tower Ballroom by my daddy when I was eight! Sadly, the years have taken their toll and despite my best efforts rather than rivalling Denise Van Outen, I'd be lucky to challenge the dance moves of the wonderful Ann Widdecombe.
Worse still, the other contestants include our very own Charlotte Hawkins, Sky Sports presenters Natalie Sawyer; Vicky Gomersall and Orla Chennaoui. Then there are the athletes competing including Olympic medallist Kelly Sotherton. All the girls float around the rehearsal room like frisky colts while I resemble Boxer from Animal Farm. The boys are sweet to me. Sky Sports presenters Mike Wedderburn and Julian Warren along with world boxing champion Johnny Nelson offer a big brother arm and the reassurance that not to worry it's all for a good cause. That, it most certainly is.
Two of our colleagues have very poorly little girls who desperately need our emotional and financial support. Dylan has Rett Syndrome. She developed normally until she was two but has now regressed rapidly losing the ability to crawl, talk or use her hands. There's more information on her condition here Curefordylan.com. Ava is two and is being cared for at Great Ormond St Hospital for an illness affecting her brain caringmattersnow.co.uk.
Reading about these two little ones and the incredible challenges their devoted parents face every day means I'd happily embarrass myself on the dance floor every weekend if we can raise money to help find a cure for their daughters' wretched illnesses.
If you can, come and see us dance at Silverstone (http://www.silverstone.co.uk/events/dancing-with-skys-stars/) this Friday and Saturday. It'll be fun, you can point and laugh at me and you'll be making a difference to Dylan and Ava's lives.
Hope to see you there - Keep Dancing!
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