Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood may cultivate a spiky exterior but off-duty it’s clear he’s secretly a massive softy.

As part of the Guide Dogs charity’s Meet A Hero campaign, Craig spent a day with Strictly superfan Neve and bonded with her over their shared love of dance – and her cute dog.

Their meeting, in which they discussed their shared love of all things dance, shows that with the right support young people with sight loss can do almost anything.

The Strictly star was happy to give up a day to meet his young fan

“Since I was really young I’ve been obsessed with dancing, now I’m older I’m equally obsessed with Strictly Come Dancing”, says Neve, 13, who was born with a number of complex eye conditions.

Despite her vision impairment, and need to use a cane, Neve began dancing when she was just four years old.

She now practices a combination of ballet, tap, akro, modern and lyrical twice a week in Coventry.

Neve has been working with the charity Guide Dogs on her movement and orientation skills since she was 9 and this helped her when it came to learning how to dance.

As well as giving his time to guide Dogs, Craig is a patron of the Royal Osteoporosis Society.

Her sight loss means she is sometimes unable to do things the same way as her friends, but despite not finding certain dance moves easy, she is always willing to try new things and won an award for being the most resilient student at her dance school earlier this year.

“Even though things can sometimes take me a bit longer to work out, I feel free and happy when I dance”, says Neve.

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Following on from the success of the first #MeetaHero campaign, where teenager Rainbow met his hero, Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, Guide Dogs organised for Neve to meet Craig at the Elstree studios where Strictly is filmed.

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When they met, Neve and Craig spent some time discussing their shared love of dance, including how they both got started, their dance inspiration and even their most embarrassing moment they have experienced on the dance floor.

On meeting her hero, Neve says, “I absolutely loved meeting Craig. Strictly is the best show on TV and I think Craig is the best judge by far. He has definitely inspired me to keep dancing.”

Craig and Neve got along famously

Craig was equally full of praise for Neve, saying: “It came as no surprise that Neve received an award from her dance school earlier this year. She is the embodiment of a fabulous dancer.

"She is talented, resilient and unafraid to try new things, despite having some extra challenges to navigate.

"I’m honoured that Neve thinks of me as a hero – but I think it’s pretty clear who the real star is here. I can’t wait to follow Neve’s journey and have no doubt she can achieve anything she wants in life, both on and off the dance floor.”