Words and pictures by BILL HEANEY
They were handing round the hankies in Renton and Edinburgh tonight when JJ Chalmers and his Welsh partner Amy Dowden were voted off Strictly Come Dancing by the very narrowest of margins. But they’ll be wishing they could keep their tears for souvenirs of some of the best memories of their lives. There’s delight to assuage the disappointment for JJ though. He will now be travelling back to Scotland for a reunion with his lovely wife and children. JJ lives with his wife, Kornelia Chitursko and two children, Hayley and James in Dunfermline, Fife, but because of Covid he has had to take three months away from home in training with his dance partner. He has been missed too, of course, by his parents, the Very Rev John Chalmers, former minister of Renton Trinity Church, and his wife, Liz. JJ, a former school teacher who signed up for the Royal Marines – he even wore their uniform and green beret for one of the round in the competition and for another he wore the kilt – is widely recognised as miracle man who survived being blown up by a roadside explosive device in Afghanistan. He has recently been making a name for himself as a television presenter and an athlete who distinguished himself in the Invicta Games, where he formed a close friendship with Prince Harry.
From scenes like these – JJ CHalmers and his dance partner, Amy Dowden.