A FORMER Benny Hill Dancer is set to put a Llangollen vicar through his paces as the pair bird to lift The Nightingale Trophy next month.

Father Lee Taylor has been paired with Julie-Kirk Thomas with the duo currently training to perform their Argentine Tango at the showstopping charity event in Liverpool.

Nightingale House Hospice will take over the Titanic Hotel in Merseyside next month to raise money through a unique evening of Strictly Come Dancing entertainment which will feature figures from local businesses take to the floor with a routine they have learned with a professional partner.

Father Lee Taylor, representing the Llangollen Group of Churches is hoping to get his hands on the coveted trophy and is excited by the prospect of performing with former Benny Hill dancer, Julie: “I’ve dug out those patent Cuban heels and giving it my best shot. 

“I’m used to playing the organ, singing, and composing music.  I’ve had dance lessons in London before and attended regular Tea Dances at the Floral Hall, Royal Opera House, and Covent Garden. This is a step up, however. 

“Nightingale House Hospice do an amazing job on a shoestring so when the opportunity to raise money came up – I couldn’t resist. 

“Julie is a parishioner at St Collens, Llangollen, and she has been brilliant, and patient.  The fact that a former Benny Hill dancer is teaching me has raised eyebrows. 

“We’re having a lot of fun and hopefully we will raise a huge amount of money for an amazing cause.”

Julie Kirk-Thomas starred as one of the ‘Hill’s Angels’ on the Benny Hill Show and has since been running fitness classes and musical theatre workshops in Llangollen for more than eighteen years. Julie also appeared in the Indiana Jones prequel, The Temple of Doom.

The actress and dancer’s sights will now be firmly placed on lifting the Nightingale Trophy alongside Father Taylor next month: “Father Lee is taking to the tango like a duck to water.”

“The Argentine Tango is a difficult dance to master but he is a natural.  I got to know Benny Hill very well during two series with him and taught him some amazing steps.  He’d have loved the idea of me training a Vicar for this amazing event in Liverpool.”

The highly anticipated event takes place on Saturday November 26 and will feature nine amateur dancers battle it out for the trophy.

Here is the full line-up of dancers set to compete alongside Father Lee and Julie.

It costs £4,041,617 each year to run Nightingale House Hospice which is equivalent to £11,073 per day.

Tickets cost £60 and are available now to purchase which includes access to the full show, drinks upon arrival and a two-course meal.

To buy tickets or for more information about the ‘Strictly Nightingale’ event please call the fundraising team on 01978 314292.


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