Michael Pattie, 57, from Dumfries
Dance partner: Aliona Vilani
Michael lost his 13-year-old son, Dave, to meningitis. Michael has since raised more than £300,000 for charity, including the Meningitis Research Foundation, some of which has contributed towards the development of a ground-breaking meningitis B vaccine available on the NHS.
Michael said: “My motivation is a) to do all I can to stop other families going through what I have, and b) to make my son proud. That’s my drive. When something like what happened to me happens, you’ve got choices to make: you can fold and collapse and just not want to go on, or you can find a reason to turn it into something really positive and that’s what I decided to do.
“We started out own little mini-Strictly on a local basis as a fundraising thing. We got people in our community, like the headteacher of the local high school and the chief of police, talked them into being our celebs and teamed them up with dance partners. And of course everybody in the police force wants to come and see them dance, everyone in that school, and so it sold out.
“We’re now 10 years down the line and have 21 charities on board and they’ve shared roughly £300,000 now, all because of Strictly. So you ask me if I’m a Strictly fan? Big time.
“I can move, I’ve got rhythm, but it’s not necessarily in the right order. Because we’re asking people to go out of their comfort zone, my wife and I open the shows with a wee dance. I’ve dropped her twice, live on stage. It’s a great talent for a wife to have, to be able to bounce…”