Stars of Strictly seen at Devon castle

Strictly's Oti Mabuse and her dance partner Marius Iepure in the historic ballroom of Powderham Castle.

Strictly's Oti Mabuse and her dance partner Marius Iepure take to the floor in the historic ballroom of Powderham Castle. - Credit: Historic England

Famous faces from TV and radio are going on personal journeys of discovery in short films being launched by Historic England to spark curiosity in the nation’s heritage - with viewers able to spot Powderham Castle in Devon.

Strictly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse performs a tantalising tango with her dance partner Marius Iepure in the historic ballroom at Powderham as part of the new showcase of the UK’s best-loved historic homes. 

The duo perform their dance in the romantic ‘secret’ music room at the castle,  built by William, the third viscount of Devon, to host balls, entertain noble families and help his 13 sisters find husbands. 

They also glide across the floor in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace, following in the footsteps of England’s famous monarchs, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.   

Stricly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse in the music room at Powderham Castle

Oti Mabuse says she loved performing at Powderham Castle. - Credit: Historic England

Oti says: 'We are so excited to explore a couple of the most special ballrooms in the country, uncovering their history and dancing in the same space many have for centuries.' 

Other celebrities taking part in the films include Radio 2’s Rev Kate Bottley and TV presenter Monty Halls, who also visit dramatic historic locations that have a special emotional connection for them. 

In each film, the popular personalities discover a thread through time that brings to life the stories of people, places and spaces that have survived through the decades. 

They learn about the remarkable knowledge and expertise of the people who work there, and how support from the Culture Recovery Fund has enabled essential repairs to take place, as well as safe-guarding jobs and craft skills through the pandemic. 

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Historic England hopes the collection of films - called ‘Uncover More’ - will motivate viewers to find out more for themselves as historic places move towards reopening to visitors. 

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, says: 'We hope that seeing these familiar faces discover the delights of some of the nation’s incredible heritage will engage and excite people, motivating them to find out more for themselves. 

'The last year has been an extremely challenging time and the joy of discovering the heritage on our door steps provides an emotional anchor for many of us, as access restrictions open up. 

'All the amazing places featured in the films – and many more heritage organisations and historic buildings - have been helped through the pandemic by life-line grants from the Culture Recovery Fund. These have paid for essential repairs and helped protect jobs and crucial craft skills. This support means that they will once again be able to offer fun, exciting and unique experiences to visitors when it is safe to do so.'

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