Steve Backshall: Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood is scarier than snakes, spiders and scorpions

He might not be fazed by bloodthirsty bugs, but Deadly 60 presenter Backshall is wary of one quick-tongued Strictly judge...

Steve Backshall is no wimp. He spends his days getting up close and personal with the kind of bugs and beasties that would leave most of us crying for our mums. 


But it turns out there is one thing the naturalist is scared of. And that’s “a potential cobra like Craig [Revel Horwood].”

Backshall, who has presented Deadly 60, Nature’s Microworlds, Supergiant Animals and The Really Wild Show, reckons starring on Strictly Come Dancing is much more daunting than coming face to face with a deadly insect.

“There is absolutely no comparison. I’ve been kind of obsessed with snakes and spiders and scorpions and things since I was four or five years old. I have been into dancing for about four or five hours and it could not be more alien to me.

“The idea of doing it in front of millions of people, particularly a potential cobra like Craig, is way, way, way more scary,” he told us at the launch of Strictly’s 12th series earlier this week. 

That’s probably because, unlike some of the other contestants, Backshall has practically no dancing experience: “At weddings yeah but usually it’s in the corner, skulking as far away from anyone as possible until the champagne starts flowing.”

Not that he’s going to let his inexperience hold him back. 

“The thing that I hated as a viewer was the people who did look completely ‘rabbit in the headlights’ bewildered, stunned, frozen, not at ease with it. I think you have to totally throw yourself into it and own it,” he says. 


Strictly Come Dancing starts on Sunday at 8:00pm on BBC1