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Kensal Rise’s Danny John-Jules gets ready for Strictly Come Dancing

PUBLISHED: 11:32 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 17 August 2018

Danny John-Jules lives in Brent (Pic credit: Ian West/PA Wire)

Danny John-Jules lives in Brent (Pic credit: Ian West/PA Wire)

Archant

A Kensal Rise actor is joining celebrities to strut his stuff on Strictly Come Dancing

Danny John-Jules, star of Red Dwarf and Death in Paradise, will be battling contestants when the BBC show launches at the end of the month.

Viewers will vote on his Charleston and tango – but it’s his charity and community work that he hopes they’ll remember.

He told the Brent & Kilburn Times: “I’m representing Dominica and the charities I support. This is the biggest show in the country – I’ve been in six West End shows but not many people know that, although now on Twitter people know a lot.

“What’s the use of doing anything if it’s not to help other people? What’s the use of fame? Yes, fame gives you money but what do you use fame for?”

An ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK, Danny bared all on ITV’s The Real Full Monty last year to help raise awareness of the killer disease.

“Black males are dying at twice the rate of white men,” he said. “One in four black men die compared to one in eight white men. Why wouldn’t I go and take my clothes off for my people?”

Among the charities he supports is the ACLT, which saves lives through bone marrow and organ donation, and cancer charity The Willow Foundation.

He helped fundraise for a piano at Princess Frederica Cof E Primary School in College Road in 2015, which his children attend.

His parents came over from Dominica in the 1950s and his heritage means a lot. “I’m a Windrush descendent,” he said, “and I’m on Strictly while a lot of others are getting deported.

“Meanwhile black people are sitting there folding their arms. It’s up to us to raise these issues.”

The actor, singer and dancer would like to see one label banished.

“BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] – why do we call ourselves ‘BAME’?” he said. “I’m not a BAME – I’m a black man. I’m going into the competition as a black man who knows his people. I’m not going in as a BAME.”

Now with a Strictly glitterball up for grabs, it will be up to viewers to decide who wins the prize – but they can be sure this local man will put on a show.

Responding to a growing legion of fans on his Twitter account, he wrote: “My obligation will be to whoever my partner is. She will be the boss. I’ll be a mere passenger happy to go along for the ride.”

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