ELEVEN couples will put their best foot forward and step out in front of hundreds of people for the Bolton Hospice Strictly Learn to Dance final show this weekend.

The dancing duos have been mastering their steps for the past 10 weeks and will perform three dances at the sell-out show at the Whites Hotel at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Bolton Actress Maxine Peake will join a panel of judges who will decide the winners of the competition, which has been organised by Bolton Hospice, with each contestant challenged to raise £400 for the hospice.

Each couple will begin the showpiece final with a waltz before moving on to a quickstep routine.

They will then perform their different individual dances before the winners are announced. As a rehearsal before the big event, many of the couples danced at an organised show at Mecca Bingo in the town centre, organised by memberships’ manager Will Clarke, who is one of the participants in the contest.

He said: “All the dancers are getting nervous about dancing in front of a large crowd at the grand finale, so this was the perfect opportunity for us all to tackle our nerves and show off what we’ve learnt so far.

“Yes there’s healthy competition between all the couples, but the camaraderie of the whole event is really special and it was fantastic to face the dance floor for the first time together.”

Bolton News reporter Liam Thorp will be taking part in the grand finale with his dance partner Cathy Brown.

He said: “I have made no secret of the fact I was volunteered for the competition by my colleagues at the newspaper, but I have actually really enjoyed the process and it has been a laugh getting to know everyone.”

The nervous novices had their final practice this week at the Touch of Class dance studios in Little Lever, where Teresa Croasdale and her dance teachers have guided them every step of the way.

Sally Wilson, events co-ordinator at Bolton Hospice said: The nerves may be starting to show but each couple has done brilliantly,”

If you would like to sponsor our reporter Liam Thorp, visit justgiving.com/LiamThorpStrictly