Andrew wants nothing more than to be on Strictly Come Dancing. His mum Donna, who is sitting next to him as we chat, pulls a face and laughs as though she has heard that one too many times, but she’s his biggest fan really. She knows her son has talent and she is ringing everyone she can to get him a cameo on the show.
It wouldn’t be Andrew’s first glimpse at stardom. The 25-year-old, who has Down’s syndrome, won audience’s hearts when he appeared on ITV’s The Greatest Dancer and has nearly 65,000 followers on TikTok where he flaunts his moves.
We’re chatting because Andrew wants to bust myths. He wants to show the world that people with a learning disability can shoot for their dreams and achieve their goals. It might take a little bit of patience and help, but he’s got big plans for his future and he’s not afraid of the spotlight.
“It makes me happy and free,” Andrew says when I ask him what it is he loves about dance, but only after he tells me how much he loves Strictlyand that he would love to be on the show. Love is maybe too soft a word. He would adore it. The show is his ultimate dream.
“We’re working on it,” Donna says, plotting that her son might have an appearance one day. “They all know him at Strictly. A couple of the choreographers follow him, so we tag them in most stuff.” Andrew learnt to dance by watching the show, then learning the parts of both the celebrity and professional.
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Andrew is already a bit of a star in his own right, and Donna proudly rattles off his achievements. He recently raised £18,000 for the charity Mencap, for which he is an ambassador, through taking on 15 different dances.