AN engaged couple proved themselves king and queen of the dancefloor as they were crowned champions of Strictly Learn to Dance 2018.

Christina Cunningham and Steve Jones, aged 25 and 24 respectively, beat off competition from 19 other couples in the event which raises tens of thousands of pounds for Bolton Hospice.

The couple wowed judges with their quick step as well as their Argentine tango to get their hands on the trophy.

Christina, who lives in Kearsley, said: “It’s very surprising. We were happy with just winning the tango. It hasn’t sunk in yet. 

"Everyone has been lovely. At the beginning, it was just 19 other couples we did not know, but now we are all friends.

“We have won it for everyone. If they hadn’t pushed us, we would not have worked this hard.”

Christina is the current Miss Farnworth and Kearsley and finished seventh in Miss England last summer.

Partner Steve, who originally comes from London, added: “I’m over the moon. I never thought I’d win something for dancing. To come out as overall winners is overwhelming.

“It has been an amazing experience. I have never danced before in my life and Christina has begged me for three years to do it, and it has worked out.”

The couple met while in the same swimming team at university, and are due to get married in 2020.

The pair's success comes after 13 weeks of dance lessons at A Touch of Class Dance Studio in Little Lever in preparation for the event.

The contestants took to the dance floor in the Premier Suite of Bolton’s Whites Hotel on Saturday night to showcase their social foxtrot, quickstep and one of four specialist dances – salsa, cha-cha, Argentine tango and rock n roll.

All 750 tickets to the event were sold out in advance.

This winners were chosen by a judging panel consisting of two professional dance experts, a hospice trustee, and Apprentice stars Michaela Wain and Harrison Jones.

Bolton FM were on hand to help with the running of the event by hosting and providing technical support throughout the night.

Maria Passarello, events manager at the hospice, said the charity is hoping to raise £40,000 from the event.

She said: “It has been a fantastic night. The dancing has been amazing and so has the fundraising.

“It’s always packed out, but this year it just seems to be bigger and better than ever.

“The standard of dancing was so high. We’ve raised £37,000 at the moment, but we’re hoping to get it to £40,000, which will smash our target.”