Video & Gallery: Strictly sensation Ann Widdecombe visits Culford School

STRICTLY Come Dancing sensation Ann Widdecombe last night took a breather from the cha-cha-cha to answer questions from Suffolk school students.

Miss Widdecombe, who is partnered with professional dancer Anton Du Beke, has already made it through the first five rounds of the hit BBC show

But last night the former Tory MP took time out from her frantic schedule for an event at Culford School, near Bury St Edmunds, called “An Evening with Ann Widdecombe.”

Her appearance was part of a scheme run for the school’s most able students.

Before sitting down with about 300 pupils, parents and teachers, Miss Widdecombe spoke to the EADT about life after politics.

Asked whether she missed the cut and thrust of parliament, the former MP for Maidstone and the Weald answered: “Not at all. “When I went back there (parliament) to see somebody it was as though I had never been there at all.

“There was no pang, nothing.”

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Miss Widdecombe, who retired from the Commons at the May elections, said she wanted to get through the next two rounds of Strictly Come Dancing because then she would appear at Blackpool, a town which holds a special place in her heart because of previous Conservative Party conferences.

“It is entirely up to the public how far I go,” she said. “I could last all the way, I could go out next week, I just don’t know. I want to stay in.”

She said she was finding the show experience deeply liberating because, for the first time in many years, how she performed did not matter a jot.

“There’s a glorious freedom that I’ve not had for a very long time,” she said. “I could lose this competition ignominiously and it wouldn’t matter to anybody. I’ve retired and I’m having fun. If I have everybody crying with laughter then I’ve done my bit.”

Miss Widdecombe, who said she felt fitter but had not lost any weight so far in her Strictly Come Dancing career, said she and her dance partner were only doing moves of which she was capable.

“We only do what I can do. Most of the spectacular things I’ve done have involved no skill at all on my part,” she added.

Dr Alan Palmer, Culford’s head of scholars, said: “It has been a fantastic evening and everyone thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ann – she was very entertaining.”