Harpenden’s David Clarke stars in Strictly Come Dancing for Sport Relief
- Credit: BBC/Comic Relief/Guy Levy
He’s already getting ribbed about appearing in Lycra, but that hasn’t deterred Harpenden Paralympic star David Clarke from swapping his football boots for sequins to appear in Sport Relief tonight (Friday).
David joins three fellow Paralympians in a special edition of the nation’s favourite entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing.
The father-of-two led his team to a top 10 finish at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and has since retired as captain of Britain’s blind football squad.
He will appear in Strictly alongside wheelchair racer and double Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft, former world champion javelin thrower Nathan Stephens and sitting volleyball player Martine Wright.
Dancing to “Firework” by Katy Perry, the Paralympians and their professional dance partners will take on a group dance challenge in a bid to impress judges Darcey Bussell, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and 10-time Paralympic gold medallist Lee Pearson.
Strictly host Tess Daly will reveal the judge’s favourite and present the winner with the Sport Relief glitter ball trophy.
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David is already receiving some light-hearted ribbing about his appearance on the show.
On Twitter, he has been told by FA and Team GB physio Mat Jones, “Really can’t wait until Friday to see you on Strictly in that non-forgiving Lycra! I’ve heard you’re in decent shape?!?”
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David replied that wearing Lycra would have been “unforgiving” at any time in his career, let alone 12 months into his retirement.
There have been plenty of well-wishers too, including award-winning St Albans performing arts entrepreneur Zoe Jackson, who said she could not wait to see David make his Strictly debut, adding, “Let’s do street dance workshops for the footballers!”
Another well-wisher called him “twinkle toes” and praised him for dancing for a good cause.
The Sport Relief weekend kicks off on BBC One tonight, with the biggest night of the charity event to date.
A spokeswoman said there was a “stellar” line-up of sport and entertainment stars coming together to bring viewers an unmissable evening, broadcast live from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
TV favourites including Gary Lineker, David Walliams, Davina McCall, Claudia Winkleman, Jack Whitehall and Fearne Cotton, presenting the star-studded evening.
There will be original sketches, live music performances and teams of celebrities battling it out in sporting events.