Strictly Come Dancing has been home to contestants from many walks of life: magicians, soap stars, weather presenters, politicians, TV chefs, pop stars… but Tess Daly wants to up the ante by inviting the royals to take part.
After all, this time last year it would have been hard to imagine Ed Balls taking part in Strictly, so who knows what could happen in 2017?
The Strictly co-host accepted the award for Best Talent Show at the National Television Awards on Wednesday before heading backstage with 2016 contestant Judge Rinder.
Asked for her ideal Strictly guest, Daly told RadioTimes.com: “I’d like a royal.”
Specifically? “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. It would be wonderful. She’s a big fan of the show.”
“I can imagine her being a great Cha-Cha person,” Rinder added.
But he was taken aback to learn that Camilla and Charles are Strictly mega-fans, glued to the box on Saturday nights.
“She is. She told me,” Daly insisted. “They watch religiously. And they vote. They actually vote. I can’t imagine Prince Charles taking the phone number down and dialling. But yeah, it’s wonderful and she’s a lovely lady and she enjoys the show, so she’d be good.”
However, Rinder reckoned producers should aim a little further down the royal family tree, because “some of the minor royals would do it for sure” – perhaps even Zara Tindall (née Phillips).
Queen Elizabeth’s grandchild, who is an equestrian, has previously been in the audience at Strictly.
Daly added: “I think Zara would be wonderful.”
So what’s behind the success of Strictly Come Dancing, still going strong after 14 series?
“It’s a really happy show, isn’t it?” Rinder said. “In a world where there’s a lot of negativity and programmes which are to some extent about bringing people down, it’s a programme which is joy and fun and where you can feel it from the audience at home to everybody who’s a part of it, they just want people to do well.
“It’s the ultimate good news show, and every age, every background watches it together and can share in it, it’s part of the happy national experience. It’s Britishness at its best, I think.”