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

Comedian Bill Bailey has made it all the way to the Strictly Come Dancing final, after surprising fans and judges alike with his impressive moves throughout the series, and will now have his eyes firmly set on the Glitterball trophy.

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Bailey, who has been partnered with Oti Mabuse, was sitting at the bottom of the overall Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard, with fellow contestants Maisie Smith, HRVY and Jamie Laing to beat – but he has proved popular with viewers at home and has never appeared in the dance-off.

Ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing final, the former Black Books star said that his biggest challenge on the series had been learning to lead in various dances, explaining that, “It’s not just learning the steps, there’s something else about the drive and being able to lead a partner around the room.”

In the final, he’s hoping to impress the Strictly Come Dancing judges by recreating his Quickstep from week 2 to Talk to the Animals and his Couple’s Choice from week 4, to Rapper’s Delight, while his Showdance will be to The Show Must Go On.

Here’s everything you need to know about Strictly Come Dancing line-up star Bill Bailey ahead of the Strictly conclusion.

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

Scoreboard

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

Week Seven: Argentine Tango (8 + 8 + 8) = 24

Week Eight: Charleston (8+8+9) = 25 and Tango (8+7+8) = 23. Grand Total = 48

Bill 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.

Bill received another 24 points in Week Seven for his Argentine Tango to Phantom Of The Opera from Phantom of The Opera.

In the semi-final, Bill performed a Charleston and a Tango. Despite receiving the second lowest scores of the night, the comedian avoided the bottom two and made it through to the Strictly final.

But will he claim the Glitterball? Bill fans will have to tune in this weekend to find out.

His 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.”

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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 final airs on BBC One on Saturday at 6pm. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.