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ICYMI: Honours for Strictly Inverness fundraisers – 116 pictures

By Andrew Dixon

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AROUND £370,000 was raised for two charities thanks to the efforts of those involved in this year’s Strictly Inverness.

Although farmer/lorry driver Martin ‘Papa’ Gill from Fortrose did not capture the crown with dance partner Dawn Gray from Culloden, he did collect a special bottle of whisky in recognition for the £66,400 his fundraising contributed.

It made the 52-year-old the annual dance event’s top fundraiser in its 11-year history.

Another big contributor was Alasdair ‘Sugar’ Kennedy. The 65-year-old – who holds high-profile positions at Global Energy Group, Nigg Skills Academy and Ross County Football Club – won the Slaters Award for most entertaining performance, chosen by celebrity guest judge Anton du Beke.

The winners were sales manager Martin Montgomery (30), from Gollanfield, and supermarket manager Shannon Christie (22), from Inverness.

Sixteen couples competed in semi-finals, where the top four from each qualified for the final, with the event at Inverness Ice Centre running over four days. The money will be split between the venue and Highland Hospice.

Afterwards, Martin said: “It makes it all worth while when Martin ‘Papa’ Gill raised so much money for a great cause and weʼve had the chance to be part of it.”

Du Beke, known for his role as a professional on TV’s Strictly, was staggered by the standard on display.

“Itʼs great, given that some of them have only been dancing since January,” he said. “Itʼs just brilliant what they have all managed to achieve.”

Runners-up were Gemma Kellacher and Darrel-John Paterson, both from Inverness, while third place went to Tasha Lundie from Auldearn and Craig Noble from Inverness.

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Related article: Strictly Inverness dancers raise thousands for charities and get praise from Anton du Beke

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