Q&A with the Strictly 2014 girls

The girls of Strictly Come Dancing on partners, dance fears and - you guessed it - spray tans

Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, 25, & Kevin Clifton


Have you prepared for Strictly?
Since I had my son Parker last year, I’ve been in training, but that was more for myself.

Have you had a spray tan yet?
Yes, the fake tan is amazing and makes me feel more comfortable in the tiny costumes! But it’s a sore subject with Kevin…

Kevin: I’ve got two layers of extra-dark tan, because I’m that pale. My legs, which haven’t been done, are bluey-green.

Mrs Brown’s Boys star Jennifer Gibney, 50, & Tristan McManus

Why are you doing Strictly?
I’ve got three sisters and we spent our lives dancing around our bedroom. We were the Fabulous Gibney Girls.

Is your husband, Brendan O’Carroll, jealous of you?
Yes! We’re both big Strictly fans. He was in the audience for the launch show and his handkerchief and bow tie matched my dress. But he’s busy right now writing the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas specials.

Singer and actress Pixie Lott, 23, & Trent Whiddon

Any dance experience?
I went to performing arts school, so we did dance, drama and music.

Anything you’re dreading?
The lifts, because I don’t want to flatten him!

Trent: Ridiculous, I know! Isn’t she cute.

How much training can you fit in?
The Strictly days are really long and I’ve also been doing gigs and recording my music video, so I’ve hardly slept.

Casualty star Sunetra Sarker, 41, and Brendan Cole

Why are you doing Strictly?
My nine-year-old son Noah told me off for saying no. So here I am!

Any handicaps?
I’m Brendan’s partner, no pressure…

Brendan: Sunetra’s filming Casualty, but intense hours can work in your favour. And she has beautiful hands!

TV presenter Caroline Flack, 34, & Pasha Kovalev

Do you watch Strictly?
I used to present The Xtra Factor on Saturdays, so I couldn’t, but I‘d always watch on catch-up. It’s weird being a contestant and not a presenter — I want to start interviewing myself!

Pasha: I feel so lucky to have Caroline as my partner. All the celebrities I’ve been paired with over the years, one is better than the other. How did I deserve that? But I’ll take it.

ITV showbiz reporter Alison Hammond, 39, & Aljaz Skorjanec

So, have you prepared at all?
I tried to go on a diet, but ended up putting on a stone — I’ll be the first person on Strictly to put on weight!

Any handicaps?
I’m worried about my breast area — there’s a bit of a jiggly situation going on there…

Aljaz: Don’t worry, you have incredible groove!

Tennis coach Judy Murray, 55, & Anton Du Beke

What’s been the hardest part so far?
My dance partner Anton can be quite distracting, which I’m using as my excuse. At one point in the waltz I have to sweep my arm graciously in a fan shape. Every time I do it he whispers in my ear, “Nope, you swatted a fly!”

Are you enjoying the costumes?
When Anton walked out of the costume department in a smoking jacket and red cravat the day after we were paired together and I followed in my long red gown, one of the make-up girls commented that we looked decidedly Downton. Since then, we have been known to cast and crew as Sir Anton and Lady Jude.


Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC1 tonight at 9.00pm