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West End takes light-footed Patrick to its heart

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Swivel-hipped Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze was in the mood to celebrate after adoring fans hailed his West End debut a roaring success. Helping toast the American dancer's triumph in Guys And Dolls at a shindig this week were a bevy of attractive Brits led by his co-star Claire Sweeney, who sizzled in a slinky scarlet affair, and former EastEnder Martine McCutcheon.

Wearing a black shirt teamed with a silver tie, 53-year-old Patrick beamed as he posed with the two ladies. Before strutting his stuff on stage with Celebrity Big Brother star Claire, who plays his love interest in the hit musical, the performer promised they'd "rock together".

At the party the sculpted hunk also paid special attention to his other leading lady, wife of 30 years Lisa Niemi, planting a tender kiss on her lips.

Among the other guests was another on-off EastEnder, Billy Murray - who plays gangster boss Johnny Allen. Also on hand were presenters Carole Vorderman and Anthea Turner, who took in the show with her 13-year-old step-daughter Amelia Bovey.

It's not the first time Patrick has tasted success on these shores - his turn as a dance instructor who seduces vicar's wife Kristin Scott Thomas in the 2005 comedy Keeping Mum was well received. But for many British admirers this was the first time they had seen the dancer up close and they weren't disappointed. "He was even better than I expected," said 21-year Verity Hars after travelling from Basildon to see him. "Even after all this time he has got all the right moves."

Photo: ©
Flanked by Martine (left) and his co-star Claire, Patrick was revelling in the enthusiastic reception given to his performance in Guys And DollsPhoto: © Rexy
Photo: ©
The 53-year-old star celebrated his moment of glory with an affectionate gesture for his wife Lisa NiemiPhoto: © Getty Images

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