Dancing the Cha Cha with Graziano Di Prima to Get The Party Started
This time, I’m going in with all guns blazing but above all, to have fun.
What made you want to return to the dancefloor this year?
I’ve always wanted the chance to come back since my early departure and I knew that if I was ever offered the Christmas Special, I’d jump at it. And here we are.
Have you carried on dancing since you left the competition? What's your dancing like now?
I always meant to start dancing lessons but just never found the time. I’d say my dancing is probably still the same. Boogying on down at a party level.
What are you most nervous about returning to the ballroom?
I was pretty unfit last time and I think I’m fitter now. Also, I’ve lost some weight and gained more stamina. I’m nervous about dancing in front of the cameras though. I wasn’t the first time round, this seems like more pressure.
Have you kept in touch with many of your old classmates?
Charlotte Hawkins sent me a message wishing me luck. That was sweet of her. I see Ruth when I do Loose Women, and Simon Rimmer and I chat every now and again. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with the others. We’re all still cool...
What's it like to train with a brand new dance partner?
Graziano is a lot of fun. He likes to laugh as I do and he’s very sweet and patient. He pushes me when I need it though. He’s so talented and has choreographed a wonderful Cha Cha. I feel honoured that he’s trusting me with so many steps.
Who will you be bringing to the show to cheer you on?
The requests came flooding in once I was announced. I decided to give my tickets to my agents, Brooke and Alex. They’ve supported my career for the past five years. They’re more than agents, they’re good friends.
Who's your biggest competition?
The person I was in 2017. Back then, I was so unfit and I don’t think I was able to give it my all as a result. This time, I’m going in with all guns blazing but above all, to have fun.
Have you been watching the show this year? Who's your money on?
I certainly have been. The standard is pretty high. Chris Ramsey has really surprised me. He slayed the hip hop routine. I think Kelvin will take the Glitterball. I love watching them dance. Kelvin is just fab and Michelle was all class.
How much training have you been able to do?
We’re doing three days a week. Might push it to four the week before the record.
What will you be doing on Christmas day?
I’m hosting again this year. Not cooking though. No one wants food poisoning at Christmas... 😜
Name your three dream Strictly Christmas dinner guests…
You know what, if it was just me and my cat Bootsy this year, I’d love it. I could stay in my PJs on the sofa all day and order a takeaway.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas to me means catching up with family and an excuse to eat your body weight in food and not feel bad about it. That’s terrible, but when else do you get to do it. Oh, and good will to all men x