Charlotte Hawkins will be channeling her inner two-year-old as she takes on Strictly Come Dancing with Brendan at her side – although with fewer temper tantrums (we hope). The Good Morning Britain presenter wants to follow the lead of her little daughter Ella Rose, who has no inhibitions about dancing on her own in the middle of a crowd.
Alexandra Burke is taking on Strictly Come Dancing in the weeks after her mother’s death, and it means so much to her. “It was her dream as well as mine,” she tells us. The X Factor winner is determined to be a model student for Gorka and give the show everything she’s got.
Someone seems to have told Jonnie Peacock that Strictly would actually be a break from his sprint training, but the Paralympic athlete is starting to find out how tough he’ll have to work – especially with Oti Mabuse as his partner.
Debbie McGee is over the moon to have Gorka Marquez as her Strictly pro partner. As she works through the grief after the death of her husband Paul Daniels, the magician’s assistant and entertainer says the show is just what she needs.
It looks like team “Beauty and the Priest” is getting on like a house on fire. The dancing reverend has pledged to cut down on pork pies, while Dianne Buswell has agreed to try one for the first time. And the chemistry? Apparently it was there from the start. “It was obvious that we were physically just sizzling,” says Richard.
As she follows in the Strictly footsteps of her friend and The Saturdays bandmate Frankie Bridge, Mollie King is a worried people will compare them. Luckily she has AJ Pritchard at her side to provide some encouragement.
Double act of the year. We seriously advise watching this video all the way through, because Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton are SO FUNNY. Kevin reckons he can melt Susan’s “concrete hips” and get her dancing – and they also discuss her hilarious reaction when she was paired with her dream pro partner.
Could Gemma Atkinson actually be more flexible than Aljaz Skorjanec? The actress reveals she used to do gymnastics – while professional dancer Aljaz can’t even touch his toes. “I probably shouldn’t say that,” he adds. If they make it to Blackpool they’ll pay a visit to Gemma’s favourite chippy.
EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami isn’t very confident about his dance skills – at his own wedding, he spent his first dance clinging on to his wife and begging: “Help me.” But he is pretty confident about his six-pack and has promised to release a button on his shirt for every week the public votes him through.
Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev are Susan and Kevin’s competition for “best comedy double act of the year.” They’re out to have fun, and Chizzy is ready to get super-fit in the dance studio. Even if that means going on the “Slightly Strictly Diet”.
Entertainer Brian Conley is hoping to follow in the stomping Strictly footsteps of John Sargeant. He’s full of jokes and lots of chat – but newcomer Amy Dowden has warned: “I’m bringing gaffer tape to practice.”
Anton Du Beke and Ruth Langsford are having a laugh. The breakfast TV presenter is loving the whole Strictly experience with her cheeky partner Anton – the only thing she’s worried about is whether he’ll be able to lift her up. “You’re but a mere waif,” he declares.
Simon Rimmer didn’t even dance at his own wedding. His daughter finds the whole Strictly thing ironically amusing, while his teenage son is worried his dad’s antics on the dance floor will spell “social suicide”. Still, he’s super excited about the whole thing – and at least Karen Clifton things it’s hilarious.
Things will be tense if Aston Merrygold gets to the final – because his pregnant wife will be “ready to pop” by then. For now he’s taking it one dance step at a time, because the skills he needed in JLS are miles away from the ballroom and Latin dances Janette Manrara will be teaching him.
Fresh from his first Strictly spray tan, soap star Joe McFadden had to be “paled down” for Holby City – after all, his character hadn’t just taken a beach holiday in the Bahamas. Katya Jones has high expectations: will the two of them perform the best Rhumba the show has ever seen?
Read all the interviews and see the spectacular photo shoot in the Radio Times Strictly Come Dancing issue, available now