COMPETITORS from across north Essex are set to put their moves to the test as they battle to win a charity dancing competition.

The Strictly Air Ambulance Glitter Ball returns on March 24, with celebrity judges Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara on hand to select the winner from the six competing couples.

One of the contestants is Bill Wilson, an accountancy firm director from Wivenhoe, who is performing the Waltz and the Paso Doble with professional dance partner Julia Westlake.

He said: "My firm are avid supporters of the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and my wife and I enjoy watching Strictly Come Dancing.

"I have no dancing experience whatsoever and it puts me right out of my comfort zone, but this is a great opportunity to raise funds for a worthwhile cause and impress my family.”

Laura Robinson, from Sible Hedingham, is finding time to practice her Cha Cha and Quickstep in between studying for her A Levels at Colchester Sixth Form College.

She said: “My mum and I always joked about taking part in the show and this year she suggested I sign up for it.

"Now she quizzes me on how my training sessions are going. It is hard but good fun. My friends think it’s really funny because I have two left feet."

71-year-old Peter Barber, from Great Braxted, has personal experience of how air ambulances save lives, after being rescued by one whilst on a cycling trip in Tanzania.

He said: “I am thoroughly enjoying training but dancing is surprisingly difficult.

"When you watch Strictly on TV and you hear the judges telling the contestants to look up, stop looking down – that’s where I am."

Last year's event raised an incredible £55,000 for Essex Air Ambulance.

Tickets have almost sold out for the show which will be hosted by Heart Radio’s Su Harrison.