New book on life of Norfolk dance doyenne Peggy Spencer

Helena Anderson

Helena Anderson with Dancing Through Life, an autobiography she has written of her mother Peggy Spencer - Credit: Chris Bishop

She taught The Beatles to dance and appeared on the TV show that went on to inspire Strictly Come Dancing.

Now a new book celebrates the life of Norfolk's doyenne of ballroom dancing, Peggy Spencer.

Artist Helena Anderson has been working on a book about her mother's life since she passed away at the age of 95 in 2016.

Peggy Spencer: Submitted pictures

Peggy Spencer, left, pictured on her 95th birthday with her daughter Helena Anderson - Credit: Submitted

Mrs Spencer lived with Mrs Anderson at her home in King's Lynn for the final 18 years of her life.

In her later years, she would dictate her memories to her daughter over a glass or two of red wine.

Mrs Spencer became one of the country's most acclaimed dance teachers and choreographers after the Second World War.

Peggy Spencer with her late husband, Frank,on the dance floor in the 1960'sCity:King's Lynn, Norf

Peggy Spencer with her husband Frank on the dance floor in the 1960s - Credit: Submitted

She was known to millions as one of the judges on the BBC show Come Dancing, which ran from 1949 until 1998.  

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Mrs Spencer was asked to appear on Strictly, which had been pitched to the BBC as a modern version of Come Dancing before it first aired in 2004, but she declined.

Both she and her husband Frank were awarded MBEs for their services to the dancing world.

Peggy Spencer of King's Lynn, who taught the Beatles to dance for the Magical Mystery Tour film fort

Peggy Spencer pictured in 2007 with Beatles memorabilia from the Magical Mystery Tour - Credit: Denise Bradley

Her achievements included working with The Beatles on a dance sequence performed on their 1967 Magical Mystery Tour film.

When Paul McCartney phoned to ask if she would help the band, she hung up thinking it was a prank call. 

She also worked with Bruce Forsyth, Rudolph Nureyev and the Two Ronnies and in 2004 received the famous red book from Michael Aspel on the BBC's This is Your Life.

The Duchess of Cornwall chats to Dame Peggy Spencer at the Sandringham Flower show 2011 . Picture by

The Duchess of Cornwall chats to Peggy Spencer at the Sandringham Flower show in 2011 - Credit: Matthew Usher

Mrs Spencer became president of the King's Lynn Osteoporosis Society after retiring to the town in 1998.

She regularly represented the group at the Sandringham Flower Show, where she would be presented to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. 

Profits from the book will be donated to the Hunstanton RNLI. Copies priced £8 are on sale at Artworks @ The Town Hall, on the Green, or can be ordered from Mrs Anderson for £10.30, which includes postage, via

Peggy Spencer

Profits from Helena Anderson's book about her mother, Peggy Spencer, will be going to the RNLI in Hunstanton - Credit: Chris Bishop