EastEnders star Maisie Smith is the early favourite to lift the Glitterball Trophy in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing but she knows there will be a lot of focus on her and the judges will be looking for her “slightest mistakes”.
Maisie, 19, who plays Tiffany Butcher, in EastEnders told Radio Times: “People definitely have high expectations of me now, so I feel they’re going to nitpick. If I make the slightest mistake, the judges will point it out.”
In fact, head judge Shirley Ballas has already warned Maisie to keep her feet on the ground
Shirley told The Sun: “I know she won the [2019 Children in Need Strictly] special but if I was Maisie I wouldn’t take anything for granted because doing one dance is not like doing 10 weeks. You’ve got to be there and you’ve got to be full on and you’ve got to go the whole nine yards.”
Maisie has been paired with Spanish professional Gorka Márquez, who has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing since 2016 and came second in 2018 with celebrity partner Alexandra Burke.
Gorka is delighted to have Maisie as his partner. “Already I can see that Maisie is very naturally gifted when it comes to rhythm and picking things up. I can’t wait for the series to begin.”
Maisie added: “And we’ve been laughing nonstop!”
Gorka felt that the lack of a packed audience could be an advantage for some dancers. “It could be very positive because, as a celebrity, there’s a lot of pressure on that dance floor with 300 people watching you. But if there’s no audience, it might feel more like a rehearsal.”
Maisie continued: “For me, it’ll be a shame if my family aren’t able to be there, even though I know they’ll be cheering me on at home. I’m just hoping they’ll get to see me dance in the studio at least once.”
Maisie is currently warm favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing 2020, at around 6/4 with most bookmakers.
Watch her debut on Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday 24th October at 7.25pm.
Read the thoughts of all the Strictly stars in the latest edition of Radio Times, in store from Tuesday 20th October.