Dance teacher Jean Pearce who launched the careers of various stars has died

Jean Pearce with her son the entertainer Billy Pearce. Credit: Billy Pearce

Tributes from the world of showbusiness and beyond have been paid following the death of Jean Pearce.

The Yorkshire dance teacher started the careers of many famous faces, including former Spice girl Mel B and Hull's Joe Longthorne. 

For many years she ran the Jean Pearce School of Dance in Leeds and became well known when she taught the dancers on Yorkshire Television's Junior Showtime in the seventies, many of whom later became stars.

Jean featured on Calendar in April when she played a virtual duet from her nursing home with her son, the entertainer Billy Pearce.

Billy Pearce sent a video to care home workers looking after his mum during the coronavirus lockdown, singing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" as a touching tribute.

So Jean responded by playing the song on the piano at the Beech Hall care home in Armley, Leeds.

In a statement Billy Pearce paid tribute to his mother: "A wonderful talented lady who touched so many lives with her amazing teaching skills and always managed to get the absolute best from her pupils.

"She was loved and respected by all her hundreds of pupils, many of which went on to have a successful career in show business."

She died on Friday night after a short illness.

This was the story Calendar reported in April about Billy Pearce's tribute to the care staff. And how Jean led a rendition from everyone at the care home as a reply. Sally Simpson explains.