Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor are not in the habit of teaming up.
But when it comes to good reasons, there are Nun better than supporting Diabetes UK.
That’s why Alexandra Burke, X Factor winner and Diabetes UK supporter, and director Craig Revel Horwood, the acid-tongued judge on Strictly Come Dancing, both spoke on stage at London’s New Wimbledon Theatre after an un-Convent-ionally generous decision from producer Jamie Wilson. Jamie decided that the charity should be the recipients of the box office of a gala performance of Sister Act: The Musical on Thursday December 1st. Jamie Wilson Productions also organised a bucket shake for the week’s shows for Diabetes UK.
Stars who attended included Diabetes UK supporters actor Jonny Labey and Christopher Biggins. Also to watch Alexandra in action were Birds of a Feather actress and 2016 Strictly contestant Lesley Joseph. Strictly was also represented with pro dancers Natalie Lowe, Robin Windsor & Giovanni Pernice joining the audience on their feet for the musical update of Whoopi Goldberg’s hit movie. After the show, Alexandra spoke from the stage about her mother Melissa’s 31-year struggle with Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK’s Head of Care Dan Howarth also gave a short speech about the help being provided for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Alexandra Burke, star of Sister Act: The Musical said: “My mum has had (Type 2) diabetes for 31 years and it’s been a long journey. She is proud to know that we are here for Diabetes UK, and I was proud and thankful to be on stage for this performance. For people to raise awareness of diabetes in whatever way they like such as Twitter and Facebook and supporting nights like this for this charity, matters so much to me. People need to be able to know what to do and if they can prevent Type 2, and that’s what makes Diabetes UK’s work so important.”
Producer Jamie Wilson said: "When Alexandra Burke's mother was suffering terribly from complications related to her Type 2 diabetes during the rehearsal and preview period for Sister Act, Alex managed to soldier on and lead the company through the crucial stages of a new production. We are so pleased we were able to donate the box office of this performance and dedicate this evening to this great cause which means a lot to her."
Jonny Labey, actor and Diabetes UK supporter, said: “What a night! Full of energy and Alexandra's voice is a force to be reckoned with! But I know from personal experience of living with Type 1 how much impact diabetes can have on your life. So for Alexandra and the producers to give the gala proceeds to a cause so close to my heart made the evening even more special.”
Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said: “It was an honour to speak on stage after the gala performance about how Diabetes UK is helping those affected by diabetes and so many people came up to me afterwards to talk about how they or their families’ lives had been affected by the condition.”
Chris Askew, Diabetes UK’s Chief Executive, said: “Everyone at Diabetes UK is so grateful to Alexandra, Craig and of course Jamie and his team - for this gala performance of Sister Act. The money raised tonight will go to helping improve the lives of those affected by Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and so it’s a fantastic and important gesture.”