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Peggy Spencer Obituary: Come Dancing legend from King’s Lynn dies aged 95

PUBLISHED: 18:59 26 May 2016 | UPDATED: 18:59 26 May 2016

Peggy Spencer. Photo: Denise Bradley

Peggy Spencer. Photo: Denise Bradley

Archant © 2007

Tributes have been paid to Norfolk’s queen of dance Peggy Spencer, who has died aged 95.

Peggy Spencer  with her late husband, Frank,on the dance floor in the 1960's in King's Lynn, NorfolkPeggy Spencer with her late husband, Frank,on the dance floor in the 1960's in King's Lynn, Norfolk

Mrs Spencer was a choreographer and judge on the popular TV show Come Dancing for 50 years.

She died at her King’s Lynn home on Wednesday, while listening to waltz music, with her daughter, Helena Anderson, beside her.

She had moved to Norfolk in her later years – but her time here was hardly a typical retirement.

The Beatles dance in the Magical Mystery Tour film, taught by Peggy Spencer. 
Photo: submittedThe Beatles dance in the Magical Mystery Tour film, taught by Peggy Spencer. Photo: submitted

“She still taught dancing to beginners and intermediates at Gaywood Community Centre in King’s Lynn up until a few years ago,” her daughter said. “She was deputy lady mayoress of the borough, president of the Osteoporosis Society and patron of the Dragonfly Galley.

“Not one to sit about, she loved to go out in the countryside, particularly Wolferton and Sandringham when the rhododendrons were in bloom, and fish and chips at Hunstanton was a favourite.

“She brought a lot of joy and happiness to many people and led a full and amazing life, and there is no doubt she will be missed.”

Ballroom dancing favourite, Peggy Spencer pictured in 2001 in King's Lynn when she became deputy mayoress.Ballroom dancing favourite, Peggy Spencer pictured in 2001 in King's Lynn when she became deputy mayoress.

A very well-known figure in the world of ballroom and Latin American dancing, she was the president of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and had a long and illustrious career, not only as a teacher, but a choreographer, broadcaster and trainer of world champion formation teams.

With her husband, Frank, she was made an MBE for her devotion to the dancing world. She also won nine Carl Alan awards, which are the dancing world’s Oscars. Mrs Spencer started teaching dancing in air raid shelters during the Second World War.

Her dancing school was based in south-east London, and during her time there she initiated the beginning of the original Come Dancing, along with Eric Morley, the director of Mecca Dancing.

Peggy Spencer , the doyenne of dance.Peggy Spencer , the doyenne of dance.

She took part in several editions of the Generation Game, Surprise Surprise, Blue Peter and the Two Ronnies, and was also the subject of This is your Life when Michael Aspel surprised her during one of her classes in Croydon.

The Big Red Book was one of her prized possessions.

She also choreographed a dance sequence for a Beatles video, Your Mother Should Know, and the tango for Rudolph Nureyev in the film Valentino.

Peggy taught the Beatles to dance for the Magical Mystery Tour.Peggy taught the Beatles to dance for the Magical Mystery Tour.

•Do you have memories of Peggy? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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