Life in politics and as a ‘Strictly’ performer...

Former Shadow Home Secretary and Strictly Come Dancing star Ann Widdecombe welcomes laughs and questions during a one-night visit to Worthing’s Connaught Theatre on September 19.

Drawing from her years in politics, success on Strictly Come Dancing and recent theatrical debuts in pantomime and opera, Ann will share reflections on her life and invite questions from the audience on September 19.

Since her early days as Runnymede district councillor, Ann Widdecombe has been known for her formidable and outspoken reputation in politics. After being elected MP for Maidstone at the 1987 general election, she became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Social Security and also Employment between 1990 and 1994, followed by a year as Minister of State at the Department of Employment and two years as Minister of State at the Home Office.

Ann then held the new seat as MP for Maidstone and The Weald before being appointed to the Standards and Privileges Select Committee and subsequently Shadow Secretary of State for Health before finally becoming Shadow Home Secretary.

Alongside her political life Ann has been a novelist since 2000, and after retiring from politics at the 2010 general election, Ann appeared in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and danced through to the last round before the semi-finals.

She then appeared in pantomime in 2011 and 2012 with Craig Revel Horwood and had a non-singing role in Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment.

Over the years she has participated in various programmes including her own prime-time television show on BBC2, Ann Widdecombe to the Rescue, as well as taking part in Call My Bluff, Countdown – Dictionary Corner, Grumpy Old Women, Parkinson, Celebrity Fit Club as a contestant and then as a judge, as well as Nothing But the Truth. Ann has contributed to many other programmes on a wide range of subjects including travel, politics and religion which are often incorporated into her live stage show.

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