Harry Potter, glittery toilet roll and flying: 7 things to expect from Strictly’s Halloween week

Jay McGuiness is doing lifts for the first time, Peter Andre has been on a spooky camping trip and Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton are taking us to Hogwarts for this weekend's Halloween spectacular

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Every year Strictly Come Dancing pulls out all the stops for a Halloween spooktacular and 2015 looks to be no different. Granted a very special peek backstage ahead of tonight’s performances, we caught up with some of this year’s dance partners to find out exactly what we’ve got to look forward to… 

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Brendan Cole is flying

It’s taken professional dancer Brendan Cole thirteen series, but he’s finally getting the chance to fly during his and Kirsty Gallacher’s Charleston this weekend.

“Bear in mind I’m the acrobat of all the dancers,” Brendan told RadioTimes.com. “I’m the one who flips off things and does stupid things and tries to kill myself. Every year I’ve wanted to do a bit of flying and it’s either been my partner that’s got to fly or someone else – and this is my gig. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it. I’m very excited about it.

“Thirteen years of service, maybe they just thought, ‘Let’s just shut him up. Let him fly,'” Brendan laughed. In keeping with the Halloween theme, New Zealand-born Brendan will be a flying vampire as he and Kirsty dance to a Lady Gaga Bad Romance mash-up. He’ll certainly have the deathly stare down just right, admitting this weekend’s rehearsal schedule means he’ll miss the final moments of the All Blacks’ bid to retain the Rugby World Cup…


Kellie and Kevin are taking us to Hogwarts

Kellie Bright and Kevin Clifton are bringing a touch of Harry Potter magic to the show this weekend, recreating Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the Strictly ballroom. In fact, as much as Kellie says she’s thinking about her Paso Doble (which they’ll dance to a mash up of ‘School’s Out’ by the Glee Cast and ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ from the Harry Potter series) it’s the props that are on her mind. 

“Our routine is great. A lot of extras – props and sets and tricks and things going bang and tables. We’re going to be dressed as Harry and Hermione. We have wands that have effects come out of them, a broomstick, a massive table set like the Great Hall in Hogwarts. Some sort of flashing magic pots.

“I’ve asked for a Hedwig but I don’t think it’s materialised. I wanted one to be flying across the back, but who knows. There’s an awful lot going on. I’m just hoping all that stuff goes right.” 


You might not be able to see Peter Andre

“He is a ghost and I am trying to get rid of him,” pro dancer Janette Manrara explained of her and Peter’s set up for their spooky Foxtrot to ‘Ghost’ by Ella Henderson. “There’s only one problem. You won’t see me…” Peter joked, laughing that he’ll just be sat at home watching with his feet up. 


… but he’s gone the extra mile on preparation this week

Peter and Janette have gone pretty ‘method’, embarking on a frightful camping trip to get into the ghoulish spirit. 

“We went camping in the woods in the middle of nowhere,” Peter explained. “We did a bit of a Blair Witch thing. It was very funny. It’s probably my favourite thing I’ve done on the show so far.”


Jeremy Vine will be showing off some iconic Michael Jackson moves

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine and his partner Karen Clifton are dancing a Salsa to Michael Jackson’s Thriller this Saturday night – and those iconic arm moves are coming out, or “the claws” as Karen likes to call them.

There’s also a move the duo have dubbed the ‘power ranger’ so keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Jeremy is certainly excited about the song choice, but joked it was quite strange watching the original video with his pro partner. 

Karen showed the video to me, I haven’t seen it for a while and I’m saying, hang on I should be showing this to you, it came out in 1982 when I was 17. I said ‘how old were you?’ and she said ‘zero’! She was born in the year it came out! It just shows it’s enduring power.” 


Helen George can’t wait to get wrapped up in her dance

Actress Helen George and her partner Aljaz Skorjanec are dancing a Samba to ‘Take Your Mama’ by the Scissor Sisters this Saturday night, so there was only really one creepy character they could be: mummies!

“We going to be wrapped up in glittery toilet roll…” Helen joked to RadioTimes.com. “It’s not toilet roll, it’s Strictly! We’ve got our own tombs as well. It’s a great number, really fun. It’s a great song to do a samba too. 

“There’s a strong character, which as an actor is a bit easier,” she added. “When you get into costume and hair and make up it’s really fun.”


Jay and Aliona are doing lifts for the first time

Singer Jay McGuiness is particularly excited for his American Smooth to ‘Lil Red Riding Hood’ by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs this weekend, because he gets to do lifts. 

“We have lifts for the first time,” Jay’s partner Aliona Vilani told RadioTimes.com. “He was so excited – from day one he asked ‘When are we going to do lifts?’ I said not anytime soon! So six weeks in, first time, it’s so cool. I wanted Jay to learn to dance first properly. Then if [we were] still in, go into theatrical stuff.”

And Aliona says she feels perfectly safe with her partner lifting her up. 

“He’s so strong. Crazy strong, I feel really safe. That’s a good plus for me.” Although Jay did forget to put her down during one rehearsal… 

“There was a moment I was in a lift, as he moved me around I realised I was still in the air just hanging there. I said ‘Jay put me down’ and he was looking forward like ‘Oh, I’m sorry’ without realising I’m hanging in his arms.”

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Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6:35pm on BBC1