Former MP and government minister Ann Widdecombe, and celebrity star of Strictly Come Dancing and Benefits Culture, visited Grantham over the weekend.
She entertained more than 100 guests at a dinner hosted by Grantham East Conservative Branch at Belton Park Golf Club on Friday night.
Before her appearance she spoke to the Journal at the Angel and Royal hotel. She said she was not surprised there was little in the town to celebrate Maragaret Thatcher as she was a divisive figure, but she hoped there would be a statue in the town soon. Now a familiar figure on television, she has a new programme to be aired in May called The Victorians and is writing her next novel.
On Friday evening, Ms Widdecombe told guests about her experiences on Strictly Come Dancing, partnering Anton Du Beke, describing how she nearly made the final after dancing to the Salsa and Samba.
She was asked what became of the yellow costume she wore dancing to the Samba and told the audience that it was sold to America, but then one day after enquiring where it had gone discovered the costume in her dressing room while on tour with Craig Revel Horwood. All other costume’s were sold.
During her visit Ms Widdecombe said she could not understand why there was no Blue Plaque above Margaret Thatcher’s former corner shop and that when the new Grantham Bypass was built there could be no other fitting name than being named after Margaret Thatcher.
Ms Widdecombe was given a tour of Grantham by her host Coun Ray Wootten. On entering Grantham she described Gainsborough Corner as uninspiring and wondered what Isaac Newton would think having a shopping centre named after him. But she said she was impressed by the Guildhall and enjoyed her brief visit to Grantham.
Ms Widdecombe also spoke about her forthcoming TV programme ‘The Victorians’ which is due to be aired in May and follows her and other celebrities leading a life in Victorian times. Asked what she missed most, she replied a hot shower. She said that all she had to live on was bread and cheese and had no contact with the outside world, including giving up her mobile phone. The programme was filmed in a number of locations and strictly enforced the Victorian regime with no outside contact was allowed while filming.
On leaving Grantham she was presented with flowers donated by Robert Holland, a book on Grantham and a pack of Grantham Gingerbread biscuits.