Meet Bill Bailey – Strictly Come Dancing contestant and stand-up comedian

Everything you need to know about the star of Channel 4's Black Books who is in the Strictly line-up this year.

Bill Bailey

Week Seven of Strictly Come Dancing is upon us, and with the Strictly Come Dancing final just around the corner on December 19th, the competition is heating up.


Although he managed to score a healthy 24 points, it wasn’t Bill Bailey’s finest Week Six as he finished in joint fourth place on the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard along with Jamie Laing and Ranvir Singh.

Following his performance, the Strictly Come Dancing judges pointed out that for one of the contestant’s in the Strictly Come Dancing line-up, who has made very few mistakes, his Jive to One Way or Another by Blondie wasn’t his best performance.

Bill has had better weeks on the BBC one show. In Week Four, he scored an impressive 27 points with his Couple’s Choice to Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang.

Nevertheless, the comedian still has this weekend to impress. The Strictly Come Dancing songs and dances have been revealed for Week Seven, and he’ll be doing an Argentine Tango to Phantom Of The Opera  along with Oti Mabuse.

So, will he be able to pull this one out the bag? Here’s everything you need to know about Bill Bailey – one of the celebs in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing line-up.

Who is Bill Bailey?

Age: 55

Instagram: @the_bill_bailey

Twitter: @BillBailey

Job: Stand-up comedian and actor

Partnered with: Oti Mabuse

Bailey began his comedy career in the 80’s, performing stand-up on the circuit and various comedy shows before landing his own TV series on the BBC in 1998 – Is It Bill Bailey?

From then on, he began appearing on various panel shows, such as Room 101, Have I Got News for You and Des O’Connor Tonight before acting in Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes’ off-beat comedy Spaced.

In 2000, he starred in Channel 4 sitcom Black Books as Manny Bianco alongside Dylan Moran and Tamsin Grieg, and two years later, became a team captain on musical quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

He has since taken acting roles in Hot Fuzz, Skins, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Chalet Girl, Doctor Who and currently stars in In the Long Run opposite Idris Elba.

In addition to his acting career, Bailey is a skilled pianist and guitarist, regularly incorporating both instruments and his musical abilities into his stand-up routines.

He shares a son with his wife Kristin, who he married in 1998 and lives in London with.

Bill Bailey’s Strictly journey so far


Week One: Cha Cha (3 + 6 + 6) = 15

Week Two: Quickstep (8 + 8 + 8) = 24

Week Three: Paso Doble (9 + 9 + 8) = 26

Week Four: Couples’ Choice (8+10+9) = 27

Week Five: American Smooth (8+9+8) = 25

Week Six: Jive (8 + 8+ 8) = 24

Bailey had a slow start, scoring just 15 points in Week One and landing himself in 8th place.

But a much better performance in Week Two saw a marked improvement in his score, earning 24 points and soaring up the leaderboard – winning impressive comments from the judges and the viewing public in the process.

In Week Three, he and Oti excelled with their Western-inspired Paso Doble.

And in Week Four, Bill impressed even more, shooting up to the third spot on the leaderboard with 27 points.

Craig Revel Horwood told Jonathan Ross: “I love Bill Bailey. He’s amazing. I was dissing him before, I’d never seen him dance.”

Sadly, he slipped down slightly to fifth place, scoring 25 points for his American Smooth in Week Five.

He managed to finish joint fourth in Week Six, however, score one less point for his Jive as Shirley Ballas pointed out he’d made various mistakes during his performance.

Bailey’s Strictly signing was announced by the show back in September.

Sharing a statement, the BBC One dance competition wrote on their Twitter page: “In these strange times we’re living through, it feels right to do something different and take on a new challenge.”


Responding to the news, Bailey added: “So I am delighted to be a part of this year’s unique Strictly Come Dancing. My late mum Madrin would have loved it – I hope she’ll be watching.”

The Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday at 7:25pm and Sunday evening at 7:30pm. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.