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Warner Leisure Hotels crown first official Strictly Come Dancing break winners


Warner Leisure Hotels has announced that a couple from Abingdon has been crowned the winners of its first official Strictly Come Dancing holiday breaks.

Amanda McCabe and Julian Siret were presented with an engraved glass glitter ball trophy by stars of the BBC TV show Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova after winning the final of the event held at the Warner Leisure Hotels’ Cricket St Thomas hotel in Somerset.

The couple, who began dancing only three years ago, won over the audience of more than 400 guests by performing an “absolutely superb” waltz to the song “To You I’m Born Again”. Referring to the difference in height between 6ft 3ins Julian and Amanda, 5ft 2ins, Darren praised the couple for “going out there and moving beautifully”.

He added: “It is really refreshing to see some real quality dancing, and great movement.”

Fellow judge Ryan McShane, who provided dance instruction during the three-night UK Breaks at the Cricket St Thomas hotel near Chard, said: “That was absolutely superb. This couple have a height difference but I just think you moved so well together.”

Lilia, also a judge, commended the couple for their “great achievement” and “very neat” footwork.

The victory, in which they beat eight other couples in a vote by the audience, was all the more remarkable after their first entry in a competition two years ago ended in calamity. Amanda told the audience how they had entered a contest at another Warner Leisure Hotel. When it came to the event nerves got the better of her and she froze on the dance floor and couldn’t dance. She said: “We didn’t come on the Cricket St Thomas break intending to enter the competition. But then we thought we’d give it a go. I can’t believe we won the final, but this time I didn’t feel nervous and really enjoyed it.”

Julian, an engineer, won a number of dancing medals in his youth, but it was only the hit BBC TV show Strictly Come Dancing that got them out on the dance floor. Since then they have been on 19 dance breaks with Warner Leisure Hotels and perfect the routines they have learned by regularly hiring a hall near their home in Abingdon to practice with some fellow enthusiasts. “Everything we have learned from dancing is from Warners,” said Amanda.

Now the couple will have the honour of presenting the winning trophy on the next Strictly Come Dancing holiday break later this month.

Warner Leisure Hotels has teamed up with BBC Worldwide to offer the official Strictly dancing breaks at five beautiful, historic UK Hotels. During the short breaks guests have the chance to meet and greet their favorite Strictly stars from Anton Du Beke to Vincent Simone.

Fans can also try on or even hire costumes worn by the professional dancers in the show and join in more than a dozen dance classes taught by professional dancers. Amanda admitted that one of the attractions was putting on nice dresses - in contrast to her job running her own gardening business.

About Warner Leisure Hotels:
Warner Leisure Hotels is part of Bourne Leisure Ltd who own Haven Holidays and Butlins Resorts and were awarded Best UK Operator 2009 by Travel Trade Gazette.

Warner Leisure Hotels offer ’adult only’ leisure breaks at seven country and six coastal locations and include three four star properties, listed historic buildings and coastal resort villages.

For additional information and high-res photos please contact
Deborah McCabe
PR Manager
1 Park Lane
Hemel Hempstead
01444 235 154


 Strictly come Dancing
 UK Hotels
 UK Breaks
 Short Breaks
 Easter Breaks

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