Dust off your dancing shoes, Strictly Come Dancing is waltzing back onto BBC One for its 18 th series.
The NTA and BAFTA award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios returns with more sparkle, glitz and glamour than ever. The celebrities strutting their stuff on the dance floor this series are Bill Bailey, Caroline Quentin, Clara Amfo, HRVY, Jacqui Smith, Jamie Laing, Jason Bell, JJ Chalmers, Maisie Smith, Max George, Nicola Adams and Ranvir Singh.
On Saturday 17 th October, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman host an exclusive premiere to welcome the celebrity class of 2020 as they prepare to begin their Strictly adventure.
What’s the reaction been like since you were announced?
It’s been an amazing reaction actually. I’ve had lots of positive messages, everybody saying they can’t wait to see me, so I’m excited. From the start I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me so far. I hope I don’t disappoint with my dance moves and I’ll be giving it 110%.
Why did you want to take part in the show?
I wanted a new challenge, something different to do. I’m always challenging myself all the time. So it was a good step in the right direction. I’m not the best dancer so I wanted to see how I will do.
What do you think of the rest of the lineup?
I think it’s a great, lineup. I think I’m gonna have some good competition. I’m just looking forward to getting started.
And who do you think is your biggest competition in the show?
I’m not sure yet, you can never tell. I don’t think I’ll know until I actually see everybody perform.
Why did you want to be paired with a female dancer?
It means a lot to me. I think it’s a brilliant step in the right direction especially on the diversity side of things. And women actually dance with women all the time in the professional circuit so I guess it’s just showing people that it can be done.
Do you have any previous dance experience?
No, none whatsoever apart from showing my moves on social media!
What are you looking for in your dance partner?
Someone competitive who will work as hard as I will and hopefully be around the same height as I am as well.
What do you think is going to be your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is probably going to be just learning the routines, I’ve got the physical side, I’m pretty fit, I’m pretty in shape. So the fitness side of things won’t be a problem. It’s just learning the actual routine where I think it will be quite tricky.
Is there a particular dance or routine you’re looking forward to learning?
Maybe the cha cha or the tango?
Are you in it to win it?
I like to win so it has to be yes, I’m in it to win it. My competitive nature is coming back out again as soon as you put a title, any title on the line for anything I want to win.
Well, as you mentioned title, what would you rather win in Olympic gold medal or lift that Glitterball trophy?
Oooo, well as I’ve already won two Olympic gold medals, I want to lift that trophy now.
Are you looking forward to being Strictly-fied?
Yeah, it’s gonna be very different. I’ll be out of my comfort zone but I’m looking forward to it. I don’t really wear too much glitter so it’s gonna be different but exciting for me.
Who was the first person you told you were doing the show?
My partner Ella. The first thing she said to me was you can’t dance, then she said good luck.
What do your family think of your dance ability?
They’ve all said I can’t dance, but I can learn. I’m going out there to prove them wrong.