A trip to see Lauren live on Strictly Come Dancing

Paul Tilley with Lauren Steadman

Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation, enjoyed a surreal experience of seeing Strictly Come Dancing live in the studio, within touching distance of the TV show’s judges and celebrities.

Paul attended the show as a guest of Lauren Steadman, University of Portsmouth alumna, sports scholar and Paralympian, who has progressed to the 8th week of the dancing competition, which was watched by around 9 million people on BBC One.

Paul had the opportunity of supporting her and representing the University during the show, and mingle with the dancers and celebrities afterwards. A bonus of the night was that Paul was able to get a photo with celebrity contestant and actor Danny John-Jules, who is also famous for his role in the TV programme Red Dwarf.

Paul with Danny John-Jules from Red Dwarf

Paul said: “Lauren was amazing, really down to earth and she gets on well with everyone involved on the show. It was great to be able to support her as an alumna of the University and see what she has gone on to achieve. She is the perfect ambassador for the University.”

TV presenter Stacey Dooley, who is also taking part in the competition, had her supportive mum in the audience who was sat next to Paul. It was revealed that she happened to have lived in Portsmouth in the past and was a connoisseur of the pubs and clubs in the area, which led to a fun chat about the best place to get a good drink.

Although he had never seen an episode of Strictly Come Dancing before, Paul has tuned in to every episode this series. He found the whole experience of the live show really fun, despite there being a low number of males in attendance!


Lauren and Charlotte with professional dancers Giovanni Pernice and Aljaž Škorjanec.

If you are watching next week you may catch a glimpse of the University logo as the BBC were at the University this week, filming Lauren and her dance partner AJ practising in the studio in the Spinnaker Sports Centre.


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