Strictly's all-star Christmas special - Adrian Chiles and Jowita Przystal interview
"It would be nice to get something other than contempt from Craig but that’s probably asking a lot. I know Anton Du Beke is into his fleckerls, so I want to do a passable fleckerl for him. Fleckerl is a word 11 days ago I’d never heard of and it’s now in my dreams and nightmares!" — Adrian Chiles
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Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the festive foursome on the judging panel are, Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and head judge Shirley Ballas.
Taking to the dancefloor this year is Adrian Chiles with his professional partner Jowita Przystal; Anne-Marie and Graziano Di Prima; Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell; Jay Blades and Luba Mushtuk; Mel Giedroyc and Neil Jones; Moira Stuart and Aljaž Škorjanec.
The Christmas special will start with a sensational group routine featuring the celebrities and their professional partners, alongside some of their fellow Strictly professionals.
And, as well as dancing, there’s plenty of music, with two very special performances from Jamie Cullum and Gary Barlow.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Christmas Day at 5.10pm.
Q&A with Adrian Chiles and Jowita Przystal
How are you feeling about being part of the Strictly Christmas special?
Adrian: If you’d asked me that question 11 days ago I’d have said absolutely terrified and full of regret, remorse and wanting to leave the country! I might feel like that after the show goes out.. you never know! But honestly, I wouldn’t have missed it, it’s been a real privilege, and I’m not just saying that, to meet Jowita, work intensively on something and just focus on that. And everyone is so flipping nice, I never use the word “vibe”, but the vibe is fantastic!
Jowita: I’m buzzing, I’m so happy I can do it with Adrian. I’m a proud teacher! To see how he has grown every day is an amazing thing and I’m just happy that I gave him a little bit more confidence about himself, that’s a win for me..
What made you want to take part in the show?
Adrian: I’ve always said no before and then I never actually said yes, I just stopped saying no! Then the next thing I knew Jowita was on a train to South Wales where I was at the time on holiday! So that was that!
What did your friends and family think?
Adrian: They were absolutely, to a man and woman, horrified! Even though my mum’s a massive fan of the show she said, “Oh God!” But then as soon as we sent them the first videos from training they all went, “Oh alright he might not be horrendous after all!”
Tell us about your partnership?
Jowita: Adrian is an amazing student, I couldn’t ask for a better one as my first experience partnered with a celebrity. Adrian is such a gentleman, literally he’s so sweet and kind. He always listens and never questions me. It sounds awful but he does whatever I want during rehearsals! I even got him smiling!
Adrian: It was probably to our advantage that I had no bad habits to unlearn, we were starting from absolutely zero. It’s about 150 beats a minute what we’re doing and it lasts about two minutes ,so that’s 300 beats, 300 times your feet have to be in the right position. Then you add to that your backside, your head, your arms all being in the right position. I don’t know what the maths are but I reckon there’s about 3000 ways to mess it up, in two minutes. If you overthink it like that you won’t do it, but it does show what a challenge it is!
Jowita: When you put it that way I think what I do for a living is so complicated!
How are you feeling about being Strictly-fied?
Adrian: I’ve been asked twice if I want a fake tan and twice I’ve refused. My outfit isn’t really glittery and its very comfortable, I might take it home with me. I got these new dancing shoes and they’re almost completely knackered already, in only ten days!
What would you buy each other for Christmas?
Jowita: I think I would buy him a face mask with a smile on it as it might encourage him to smile more.
Adrian: A recording of her voice! When something’s gone well she goes “nice!” and the way she says it lifts my spirits. I want a recording of it to make my ringtone or something, so I can play it when I’m having a bad day!
How do you rate your chances of being crowned champion and who do you think your biggest competition is?
Jowita: Everyone is brilliant actually. It might be the Christmas special but everyone’s taking it very seriously. There’s some surprises on the floor and I think anybody could be a winner because it’s a very high standard this year. Of course we want the trophy though!
How do you rate yourself as a dancer Adrian? Do you dance often?
Adrian: No. If I’m on my own, not even in front of a mirror, completely by myself, I can do it, but if anyone’s there I am filled with shame and paralysed.
Jowita: The first day we trained he was so stressed, his arms were so tight...
Adrian: I was like a drowning man clinging on to a bit of driftwood...
Jowita: But hour by hour, day by day we got there and now he has the softness in his arms, which I’m very pleased about.
What’s your favourite Christmas movie and why?
Jowita: Love Actually! I can watch it any time but especially when it’s Christmas I watch it almost every day.
Adrian: Mine might have been Love Actually but my kids have made me watch it 500 times so I’ve grown to loathe it. I saw Miracle on 34th Street and I thought that was very special, I like that very much.
Best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Adrian: I had lots of great presents when I was kid, I was lucky. But more recently my mum’s taken to buying me unbelievably mundane things that jut make me laugh. Like she got me a ball of string one Christmas, on a little dispenser. But actually I’ve grown to love it, and every time I need a bit of string I pull it out and think of my mum. She bought me a set of bottle brushes but I love those bottle brushes, there’s one for every size, big or little, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of mundanity.
Which judge are you most keen to impress?
Adrian: It would be nice to get something other than contempt from Craig but that’s probably asking a lot. I know Anton Du Beke is into his fleckerls, so I want to do a passable fleckerl for him. Fleckerl is a word 11 days ago I’d never heard of and it’s now in my dreams and nightmares! The other day when I got home I was practicing my fleckerls on my own, the dog was watching me and I think the dog could do it better than me as he has four legs! When I was in the queue at the supermarket I did a few on the spot.
Brussell Sprouts – Yay or Nay?
Adrian: Yay for me. Although with the talk of sprouts I must confess, the first time I lifted Jowita properly I’m afraid I broke wind! She was very polite and pretended not to notice and I pretended it was my shoes on the floor! It wasn’t sprouts though!
Have you got any Christmas traditions in your house?
Adrian: Just try and be nice to each other and not let annoyances get in the way. I stopped eating meat a while ago and it’s the one day of the year when I wish I did because I do like turkey. All I know is I’ll be going for a walk when the Strictly Christmas Special is on as I can’t stand watching myself!
Jowita: Don’t you worry, I’m going to facetime you and make you watch it! I would really love to spend it with my family but I don’t know if that’s going to be possible yet. If not, I’m going to spend it with my lovely boyfriend Michael and our little cat Roger and prepare some food. We always cook, when I’m home with my family, me and my mum make everything.
Have you got any New Year’s Resolutions?
Adrian: I’m really going to try and take half a pint of what Jowita’s been drinking (metaphorically speaking) and try and be more positive and enjoy things more. It’s a lesson in life. Dread and doubt gets you nowhere. I’m 54, it might be too late to alter my mental state but this has been a wakeup call to actually just do that. I’m serious about that.
Jowita: For me enjoying every moment in your life, because you never know if it will happen again. I’m so grateful for the time we’ve spent together and I want to cherish every moment of it, every time we dance, because it won’t come back.
Source BBC One
December 24, 2021 6:10am ET by BBC One