The British Jigsaw Championships are motivated by a Strictly competitor

At the British Jigsaw Championships with her 12-year-old daughter Holly

People from all over the world traveled to see who could assemble a 1000-piece jigsaw the fastest thanks to a Strictly Come Dancing celebrity.

On Sunday, Newmarket, Suffolk, hosted the British Jigsaw Championships.

By finishing the puzzle in one hour and 52 minutes, Sarah Mills of Norwich successfully defended her title for the ninth consecutive year.

After hearing Joanne Clifton mention the occasion on television, Fiona Dickinson and her daughter Holly, 12, decided to travel.

Competitors working on the jigsaws at the British Jigsaw Competition
Nearly 200 participants, up from 70 the year before, according to the event's organizers.

The previous Strictly winner finished fifth in the competition the previous year and spoke about her success while appearing on BBC One's The Weakest Link.

Holly and Ms. Dickinson began working on jigsaw puzzles while the school was in lockdown, and Ms. Clifton's mention of the contest encouraged them to enter.

Oh my gosh, Holly, there's a competition, I was thinking, she recalled. "I immediately went online, looked up the opening date, marked it on the calendar, and woke up really early to secure a place.

It was "great" to participate, according to the mother-and-daughter team from Nottingham who had traveled down.

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton
Joanne Clifton, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 with famous dancer Ore Oduba, finished fifth in the jigsaw competition the previous year.

Kate Armstrong, Charlie Armstrong, and Alex Lloyd, sisters from Durham, claimed that the professional dancer had also influenced them.

"My sister Kate loves jigsaw puzzles, so when we heard it, we were like 'let's go,'" Charlie said. We made plans, purchased our tickets, and now we are here. ".

Sisters, from left to right, Alex Lloyd, Charlie Armstrong and Kate Armstrong
Sisters Alex Lloyd, Charlie Armstrong, and Kate Armstrong came from Durham to participate, left to right.

The 10-year tradition of the annual competition, which is a part of a six-day jigsaw festival, raises money for St. Mary's Church.

The Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin was a jigsaw puzzle that contestants had to complete.

For the ninth time, Ms. Mills declared herself "thrilled" to hold onto her title.

Sarah Mills
By finishing the puzzle in one hour and 52 minutes, Sarah Mills of Norwich successfully defended her position as the ninth consecutive British champion.

According to the event's organizer, Janet Ramsay-Healie, there were nearly 200 participants this year, up from 70 the year before.

It really is amazing how it has snowballed, and she said, "I just hope we can keep it going and to keep it going, but we need to get more volunteers."

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