Kai’s moment in Blackpool Billy Elliot with the Premier League footballer’s father | Television & Radio | Showbiz and television

Emotions will run high as they hit the Lancashire dance floor. It was there that at just seven years old, Kai entered his first debutant competition – a year after watching the first Strictly Come Dancing series on TV.

He feared his father Tommy Widdrington, now 51, then a Premier League footballer who played for Southampton, would support him. But he couldn’t have been more wrong.

Kai compared it to Billy Elliot – the 2000 comedy-drama about a working-class boy with a passion for ballet.

He said of Tommy: “He always drove me to Blackpool. My family always came.

“We would stay in a small B&B and do the playrooms.

“Coming from Southampton, it was a good five or six hours, but still fun. It’s a really warm and happy time in my life.”

However, Kai admitted to being called upon to dance the samba when poking fun at one of his grandmother’s tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches could have ended his future career.

Chief Justice Shirley Ballas, 62, was also seven when she started her career at the resort.

She said: ‘I love everything about Blackpool including the lights and promenades along the beach, the people and the nightlife.

Shaking hands with her mother as she entered the huge ballroom, eight-year-old Amy Dowden exclaimed, “Mom, it’s better than Disneyland!”

Amy, now 32, said: “I sat in the front row and had to be bribed to leave. It made me realize that’s what I want to do. All those dresses in bright colors, these sequins and these rhinestones.”

Neil Jones, 40, said: “We used to play this game: who can spot the tower first.

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