Interview with Claudia Winkleman on Strictly Come Dancing



Interview with Claudia Winkleman on Strictly Come Dancing

And we’re back! This is Strictly’s 21st series, how does it feel to return to the show for such a monumental series?

I am so excited to be back. There is a real buzz about the 21st series and we are all sort of beside ourselves.

We’ve asked all our pros what they were doing when they were 21, what were you doing at 21, and what did life look like?

21 years old for me was... I just left university, I was doing my first job which I was absolutely rubbish at. I don’t think I had a fringe, which is alarming.

Every year there is so much excitement when Strictly comes back on our screens, what keeps audiences coming back for more?

We never take it for granted that audiences will come back and we didn’t take it for granted this year either but we are so grateful when they do.

What is the biggest joy from your job as a Strictly host, and the biggest challenge?

Just being part of this show is a total joy. I know this might sound revolting but it is a family and we can’t wait to all be back together.

Crew, production, hair, make-up, the pros and Dave Arch. My husband, we love to get back together... The biggest challenge is walking in heels.

Do you find yourself looking forward to watching particular styles of dance as the weeks go on? Which ones are your favourite?

I so look forward to the Argentine Tango. It never comes up early but the moment I get a whiff of it or someone mentions it, I start making sort of weird clicky noises with my tongue and I can’t wait to watch.

Do you have one stand-out dance and/or celebrity dancer from your previous series of Strictly Come Dancing?

There are so many standout moments from past series.

So, Ed Balls, obviously was extraordinary. It was the only time the floor manager sent a message to everyone to come to the floor. Alesha Dixon once did a Viennese Waltz which made everybody cry. Another standout moment was Gloria Estefan in Blackpool. That speaks for itself.

There are so many great departments and roles involved in Strictly, if you could spend a day with one of them, who would it be and why?

There are so many extraordinary departments in Strictly. The band, hair and make-up, direction, lighting. But if I could be with anyone all day it would be with Vicky Gill because those costumes are extraordinary. The colours, the way they move, the way that everything is recycled. That woman and her team are genius.

Do you have one stand-out dance and/or celebrity dancer from last year’s Strictly Come Dancing?

I loved everybody on Strictly last year. Hamza was unbelievable. He did a dance in week four where he threw Jowita up in the air. And then again and again. We were all pinching ourselves, staring at each other and saying what are you talking about, is it week four?

If you could only pick one favourite performance from all your series so far, what would it be, and why?

A standout performance from all Strictly is so hard. There is Alesha Dixon’s Viennese Waltz, Rose and Giovanni’s Couples Choice, there’s Ed Balls' Gangnam Style.

I have too many. I just have too many. Bill Bailey and Oti’s Couples Choice. I am going to get into trouble because I can’t choose.

Strictly returned to Blackpool last year after some time away. How was that and does it make you excited to return this year?

Blackpool is genuinely magical. We love it. The people are so lovely and so welcoming. We all look forward to it and for everybody who is taking part, all the celebrities, when they start off, they don’t say it in the beginning but once they make it to week three, week four, there is just a hunger to go to Blackpool, and when we get there, the whole town sort of welcomes us.

Best fish and chips you can ever have in your life. The ballroom is extraordinary. The sprung floor. We are so lucky to be going back. We really missed it when we couldn’t.

We have 19 brilliant pros for this series, some being with the show for ten years, how would you sum up their contribution towards making the show what it is?

Strictly, is not Strictly without our pros. They are absolutely the best at what they do. They are Olympians. They are heroes. They are the masters of dance. Not only are they amazing at dancing but they are such brilliant teachers and to get both in one in human...

They are amazing. They take our celebrities on the journey of their lives and they make sure that they feel good about themselves. That they are happy and they feel safe. That they teach them this unbelievable skill.

Is there a song that will never fail to get you on the dancefloor at parties or weddings?

Almost any song, but if Beyonce Crazy in Love came on, I have to move and I am not good at moving. It's not something you want to see... But yes, then I will get up and jig about.

Finally is there anything you are particularly excited for this series?

The thing I am most looking forward to this series is us all being together. I love standing next to Tess and love trying on sparkly outfits. And mainly, I cannot wait to watch these people learn to dance.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 23 September at 6.15pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

Source BBC One

September 23, 2023 4:00am ET by BBC One  


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