Darcey Bussell wouldn't go on I'm a Celebrity – but she has some ideas about who will win Strictly
The ballet dancer and Strictly Come Dancing judge opens up on her TV loves and hates
What can’t you miss on TV?
Grand Designs. I love architecture – I’m drawn to anything to do with the creative use of space. I love how light is injected into a building, and could have been a designer of some sort in another life.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Usually something animal-related that my daughters [Phoebe, 14, Zoe, 11] are watching. Animal Rescue or The Dog Rescuers, for instance.
What would you delete from the girls’ watchlist?
Don’t Tell the Bride. There’s too much manufactured drama, too many false expectations.
What on TV would you resurrect?
The Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly films they used to show. They’re slightly unreal, but magical.
Who do you wake up to?
Never TV, always radio. It might be Magic, Heart, Smooth or Jackie – anything we can all sing along to as we dance round the kitchen grabbing a bit of breakfast.
Who controls your TV remote?
My husband [Australian businessman Angus Forbes], who’s a big sports fan. I’m not very good at sitting down for too long; I’m an up-and-doing type of person.
Would you ever appear on I’m a Celebrity?
Never. For me, there has to be a meaning. There’s not much meaning in eating bugs.
Has anyone left you starstruck?
Yes – Sting. I’d watched him perform on TV many times and then was lucky enough not only to see him live in Sydney but also to meet him afterwards. Everything I’d ever thought about him turned out to be true. He’d aged well and simply oozed sex appeal. I was totally speechless, something pretty rare for me. All I could do was look at him and smile.
Who’s going to win Strictly?
There are a few contenders. Peter Andre (below) can obviously dance, but I wonder if he has the necessary diversity. Helen George is a beautiful dancer. As is Katie Derham, though Anton must be careful to give her enough dance content. Then there’s the lovely Kellie Bright – a good all-rounder. And who knows what Jay McGuinness still has in store?
Do you ever worry about being too nice on the show?
I try to emphasise the celebrities’ strengths and weaknesses equally. If they’ve improved from the previous week, I say so. I’ve been criticised for being a bit too sympathetic but I value the fact that these people are putting their heart into something that probably doesn’t come naturally to them. Craig says I’m rubbing off on him: he’s worried he’s getting a bit soft in his old age.
Do you ever wish it were you on the dancefloor?
Oh, all the time. I’m always itching to get up there. Dance is in my DNA. I’m particularly drawn to dances like the Argentine tango which combine grace with drama. I’ll never forget Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff ’s Argentine tango – the best single routine in the last series of Strictly.
Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC1 tonight (Saturday 28th November) at 6.50pm