Strictly Come Dancing: 12 Things We Learned From This Year’s Celebrities


Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly will return to host new Strictly series, which begins on Saturday

Strictly Come Dancing will be stricter than ever this year.

Not because Craig Revel Horwood is going to be even tougher on his scores (that would be impossible), but because of the health measures in place to keep the show on air amid the pandemic.

The streak will be shorter than usual, with 12 famous contestants instead of 15.

We heard the class of Strictly 2020 and learned the following things:

1. Bill Bailey’s diary was pretty empty this winter

The Strictly 2020 line-up is, let’s be honest, the best that there has been in several years.

Which, as comedian Bill Bailey points out, is in large part due to the fact that there isn’t much else for celebrities to do.

“Right now, in a normal year, I would be about to start three or four months touring Australia and New Zealand, then I would be in America, then Europe, I would be out for seven or eight months of the year, ”he explains. “It all stopped.

“So part of the reason I got to do the show this year was because the tour just wasn’t going on. Everything has been postponed indefinitely, so really I have a lot of time to focus on this. “

2. Clara Amfo’s mother may need to lie down

Anyone who follows the Radio 1 DJ on social media will have reveled in the screenshots she often shares of WhatsApp conversations with her mother.

Usually, the legendary Mrs. Amfo can be seen reminding her daughter to eat lots of vegetables and not to wear anything too revealing on TV. So God knows how she’s going to deal with Strictly.

“She’s already shared a few opinions on how I should present myself,” Clara laughs. “She said, ‘You don’t have to wear something too short, it can be up to the ankles, okay? ”

“And I’m trying to explain, ‘Mom, look, there’s going to be some dances that make me not wear a lot of clothes, just for movement,’ and she says, ‘Just make sure that is.’ is reasonable ‘. “

3. HRVY has the support of its former teachers

The 21-year-old, who’s too cool for vowels, says, “I didn’t know how many of my friends like Strictly. Lots of people that I didn’t expect sent me really positive and kind messages.

“I saw the other day on Facebook, there was a comment section full of my old teachers,” adds the singer, “and they were all talking about me. [doing Strictly] and fight to find out which teacher I liked the most. ”

HRVY had to self-isolate earlier this month after testing positive for Covid-19, but is still expected to participate in the series.

His time in quarantine meant he missed this year’s photoshoot, which is why he is the only contestant who was not pictured in costume against a glittering backdrop.

4. Maisie Smith is a great company in an elevator

“Honestly, I can dance to anything,” the EastEnders star says.

“You can even play elevator music and I’ll play it. Any music, I’ll dance to it, in any situation. “


Judges will be seated on separate podiums rather than a shared desk, to comply with social distancing guidelines

The actress has had a bit of dancing experience with BBC entertainment shows, having performed a routine for Children In Need last year alongside her castmates.

But, she said: “It was five days, back [November 2019], I don’t think this compares to what will happen! ”

5. One girl in particular was aloud to give Jason Bell some advice

The NFL star has a child with Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, who is no stranger to energetic dance routines.

As a result, Jason tried to glean as much wisdom as possible.

“Yeah, we’ve talked about it, and it’s really all about timing – I said, ‘Do I have enough time during the week to cut back on routines?’ You know, she’s been doing it her whole life, ”he says.

“And she said, ‘Yeah, but you’ve got to lock in and focus, but I’m going to give you some tips and tricks,’ so I have a few.

6. Ranvir Singh had a pretty specific request for the wardrobe team

The Good Morning Britain political editor isn’t too worried about the feathers and sequins she’ll have to wear – but rather what’s underneath.

“I put a stone during the lockdown,” laughs Ranvir, “so the poor people in the wardrobe, I said, ‘Look, I don’t care what you do outside, which m it is the strength of the supportive underwear it has to be the best you have, suck everything.

“Honestly, I’ll have big earlobes and big ankles because I pushed everything. “

7. Jamie Laing really doesn’t want to get hurt (yet)

The Made In Chelsea star had to step down last year before the start of the series due to a foot injury. His last minute replacement Kelvin Fletcher won the series with Oti Mabuse.

“I feel like he really put the pressure on me to do well this year. But I also have a feeling that everyone should thank me, because I given Strictly Kelvin Fletcher, ”Jamie laughs.

He is determined to leave nothing in his way this year. “I did a lot of physio, I worked hard at it, so I hope it goes well,” he says.

“If I hurt myself again I think it would be just embarrassing. Last year people felt sorry for me, this year people would just be like, ‘What a wimp’. “

8. Caroline Quentin plans to fight her way through any questionable dance

The Blue Murder and Men star Behaving Badly puts her acting skills to use in the ballroom.

“I really hope that having shown for a living, in all kinds of different formats, that when I get into more dramatic dances, I won’t be too embarrassed to go,” she explains.

“I’ll try to use all of this to cover up any nasty footwork that’s going on, or any bad arms.” “


The Strictly Pros have isolated themselves so they can film the series’ group dances in advance.

9. Max George will not be able to use a double body this time.

The Wanted singer doesn’t have much dance experience – but he was put to the test during an appearance on a hit American TV show.

“I did a bit of work on Glee,” he explains. “We had a day of rehearsal, then we filmed, but we had 30 or 40 takes.

“And I actually had a double body for some things, [for moves] that were simply beyond my reach. ”

Former teammate Jay McGuinness previously won Strictly, but Max’s experience on Glee makes him think he might not be as successful.

“I remember there was a lift that I just couldn’t get, and one of the dancers I was working with, I almost let go and had to catch her by the face, which was not cool. brought this guy in and they were like, “We’re gonna do this.” ”

10. Nicola Adams brings her fighting spirit to the dance floor

The former Olympic boxer will be Strictly’s first contender to be paired with a same-sex partner – although it has not yet been revealed who it will be.

“I don’t care who I’m paired with, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” she says. “But whoever it is, they have to be as competitive as I am because I’m going to work hard every day. ”

Nicola admits her athletic background made her more determined to qualify for the final week.

“I’m super competitive, I want to be in the final so I’ll work as hard as I can to get there. But if not, I will definitely give 110% in everything I do, so I don’t mind if I don’t measure up. ”

11. Jacqui Smith received advice from the former shadow chancellor

“Ed Balls called me when it was announced that I was going to be on the show and gave me some brilliant advice,” said the former Home Secretary.

“No one can ever compete with Ed’s Gangnam Style. But what he told me was to embrace it, really go out there and give it a try, and I promise that’s what I’ll do. “

12. JJ Chalmers won’t let his injuries hold him back

The TV presenter’s career as a commando in the Royal Marine was cut short after suffering life-changing injuries following an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion in Afghanistan.

The explosion crushed an eye socket, shattered his eardrums, destroyed his right elbow, blew two fingers up his left hand, and left holes in his legs – but he didn’t let that stop him from becoming a popular (and strictly competitor) television host.

“My success was built at a time in my life where I felt, ‘I’m not going to let myself be created barriers – there are enough barriers in life, and now I have physical limitations, but I’m not going to put more in my way, ”he said.

“I’m not here to be a spokesperson for disability, but if somebody can look at me and say, ‘Bloomin’ heck, he did that and his hands are rubbish, ‘so much the better.


The four judges will return, but Bruno (far left) will only participate in the results show

Strictly Come Dancing begins on BBC One at 7:50 p.m. BST Saturday.


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