Former MP, star of Strictly Come Dancing and novelist Ann Widdecombe has agreed to talk at a meeting of Crewkerne U3A. Ms Widdecombe was a conservative MP for more than 20 years. She served as Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary, before retiring from politics at the 2010 general election. Ms Widdecombe has made many TV appearances but the one that everyone remembers is her partnership with Anton du Beke in the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing. One of her many successful novels, The Dancing Detective, is a story about a murder committed backstage at a popular TV dancing competition.
Ann Widdecombe has become one of the most popular and sought after public speakers in the country. Her planned visit to Crewkerne in October, is seen as a huge coup for Crewkerne U3A, who celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Crewkerne U3A chair Anne Bright said: “We are absolutely delighted that she has agreed to come and talk to us. We could not have asked for a better birthday present. It is fantastic news. Everyone who has heard her says she is a fascinating and hugely entertaining speaker.”
Crewkerne U3A were able to book Ann Widdecombe thanks to the persistence of speakers secretary Denise Smith, who first contacted Ms Widdecombe’s PA in 2015. Denise said: “I am thrilled to bits that it is now going to happen.” Attendance at the U3A meeting which Ann Widdecombe will be their guest speaker is expected to exceed the usual 100 members who regularly attend the monthly meetings in the Henhayes Community Centre. With so many likely to attend their October event on the 2nd, Crewkerne U3A have booked Haselbury Mill, to accommodate the extra numbers. The talk is entitled ‘Ann Widdecombe Her Life And Times’. Speaker secretary Denise Smith said: “We look forward to some fascinating tales and anecdotes from this popular and busy lady.”