25th April 2007
?I?ve Had a Ball?, Says Heather as She Finally Leaves US Dance Show
Heather Mills has this week been voted off the US hit show ?Dancing With the Stars? after making it through to the sixth week ? surviving five weeks longer than many UK commentators spitefully predicted. Heather and professional dance partner Jonathan Roberts wowed viewers across the US and were seen as the major draw of the show, at one point boosting ratings to 22 million. Most weeks saw their routine end with a standing ovation from members of the studio audience.
What is remarkable about Heather Mills? performance, of course, is that she has a prosthetic leg and is the first such contestant ever to appear on any dance show of this kind. She took a tumble and fell to the floor at the end of last week?s routine but got up laughing and despite the judges? praise for her courage, the pair finished in the last two.
Heather, who is patron of the Bristol-based animal campaigns group Viva!, guessed that this week was probably her last and came prepared with a speech of thanks. She said:
?My participation on the programme raised a fortune for our charity and hundreds of thousands of animals' lives will be saved as a result. I took part in the contest to show people that it is possible to overcome a disability but I also did it to overcome the negative publicity that has damaged my efforts to raise funds for the land mine and animal rights charities I support. The public?s response in the US has been overwhelming." She then thanked her partner and those involved in the show and ended by urging people to ?go vegan to save the world.?
Juliet Gellatley, director of Viva! and a friend of Heather, said:
?Heather is quite incredible in the challenges she is prepared to take on ? never afraid of failing and seeing only the positives. But this was a challenge to beat them all and I am overjoyed she triumphed as magnificently as she did.
?The fact that each week?s survival meant more money for Viva! became almost incidental as I willed her on simply to see her succeed. She deserved success, she deserved to be cheered and she deserved the warmth she has been shown in the US. Despite the exhaustion of travel, rehearsal and performance and the pain and discomfort from her leg, she was happy to donate her fees to Viva! for a cause in which she believes deeply. And that tells you something else about Heather. I?d now say to some UK journalists, you?ve had your fill - it?s time to stop the spite because she simply doesn?t deserve it.?
Heather?s next public engagement for Viva! is when she promotes its Incredible Veggie Show ? the largest vegetarian event in Europe. It is on 30 June 2007 at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London SW1. She will be give a public talk entitled ?Why I?m Vegan? and do a cookery demonstration entitled ?Converting Carnivores?. Further details at http://www.viva.org.uk/london
For more information contact Juliet Gellatley or Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000. Mobile 07974 425508.
- ends ?