Darcey Bussell: my Strictly Come Dancing launch-show nerves

New judge says her American Smooth with Ian Waite is "scary" – and that the studio floor doesn't help!


Darcey Bussell makes her debut as a full-time judge when Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 this Saturday – but giving out marks isn’t what’s making her nervous.


The former prima ballerina will be performing with Ian Waite on the launch show – and she says the pair’s American Smooth has a lot riding on it.

“I will be taking to the floor myself so I will get to see exactly what it is like,” Bussell told Radio Times magazine. “I am currently learning an American Smooth with former Strictly pro Ian Waite, which is very scary. I am really tough on myself, so I want to make sure that every single tiny detail is correct.”

Speaking to Radio Times magazine for a Strictly photo special to be published tomorrow, Bussell – who has taken ballroom lessons from Len Goodman’s dance teacher wife, Sue – added: “I am more worried about that than judging the contestants. For me it is easy to criticise if I think they are under-rehearsed or not making enough effort, because I am equally hard on myself.”

The Waite/Bussell American Smooth is planned, intriguingly, to include elements of the rumba. It’ll be a difficult dance that, Bussell said, won’t be helped by the Strictly studio floor. “I am really disappointed in the Strictly floor,” Bussell revealed to RT. “Some of the panes are soft and some are stiff, so it is very hard to dance on.”


Read the Darcey Bussell interview in the new Radio Times magazine, out tomorrow.