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Interview with Hamza Yassin on Strictly Come Dancing 2022

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What made you want to take part in the show this year?

I really wanted to take part because anywhere you go in the UK, everybody knows about it and loves it. Also because I am severely dyslexic, I really want to take this opportunity to show kids who are dyslexic that it’s not a hindrance it’s a gift.

And finally, I love dancing, and I’m going to get the chance to be paired with a professional dancer and to learn some amazing routines. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, of course I had to say yes!

What do you think your biggest challenge will be?

My biggest challenge will be my weight and my fitness, I’m a big dude and I think I’m strong but imagine me like a rhino where I can have a short burst of energy and then I’m knackered afterwards. So I don’t want to be a rhino, I want to be a dolphin that’s constantly moving through water that can go for hours and hours. I want to be the fittest that I’ve ever been in my life. I’m an ex rugby player. What we do in rugby is completely different to what you do on the dance floor, but I reckon a lot of it will transfer.

How do you feel about being Strictly-fied?

I’m looking forward to being strictly-fied because in my normal day to day life, I am in a camouflage jacket or a muted colour, in wellies or walking boots halfway up a mountain in a remote place that doesn’t have phone signal. So to go from that to glitz, glamour, Latin, Ballroom and confetti, bring it on! I’m going to relish the moment and it’s stepping out of my comfort zone, but why not? I’ve got the opportunity so I am grasping it with both hands.

Are there any memorable standout moments from previous series that kind of come to mind that you really enjoyed?

I really loved Bill Bailey, he was great. He is a person I look up to in the sense of his comedy, his music and his style of stand up, but then also I know that he loves nature and birds, he’s a cool cat.

Do you have any previous dance experience?

I like dancing in the shower, just the same as singing in the shower, I think I sound amazing and I think my dance moves look cool, in my own personal time. But professionally, no, absolutely not. I don’t know if I’ve got two left feet or two right feet, but we will soon find out.

How are you preparing for the show?

I’m doing a lot of squats and sit-ups and I’m watching what I’m eating now. I’m walking daily to try and get the fitness back up again because, as a wildlife cameraman, we can happily sit still for 18 hours and not do anything!

Have you had any advice from anyone who has done the show before?

Reverend Richard Coles who I’ve had on my show, was wonderful. He said he wasn’t in it for long, but that the time that he had was amazing. I asked him what tips he could give me, and he said to just enjoy it, and relish every single moment, that it is going to go by so quick and it’s going to be a whirlwind of an adventure. I’m going to try and impress him and hopefully pick up the glitterball by the end of it.

So, do you have your eyes on the Glitterball?

Absolutely! I grew up in a family of competitive people, me and my brother were always competing about stuff. Even in my work life, as a wildlife cameraman, I want to be the first to get that shot. So Strictly to me is a competition, but a nice healthy one.

And do you have a signature dance move that you do at parties?

I absolutely love the two step, you can’t go wrong, and the Carlton is a fun one as everyone joins in with it. I live up in the Highlands where we do the Gay Gordons dance at ceilidhs.