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Interview with Helen Skelton on Strictly Come Dancing 2022

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

I just wanted to do something fun! It was a good chance for my family to see me smiling and it’s a fun adventure. Anybody who’s had anything to do with Strictly will say, the make-up people are the best, the costume people are the best, the set designers are the best, the dancers are the best. So why wouldn’t you want to do something where everyone is literally at the top of their game and loving what they do?

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

I’m not that touchy feely, so I think the physical closeness I’ll need to have with my partner will take a bit of getting used to!

How do you feel about being Strictly-fied?

I am here for it! I have three children under seven, a very energetic dog and have lived in a house renovation for the best part of three years, so Strictly-fy me up please!

Do you have any previous dance experience?

When I was a kid I tap-danced, but that’s it! Slow, calm, considered and measured dancing is not me.

How are you preparing for the show?

It takes me back my Blue Peter days, it was an all-consuming show where every minute of the day you were doing something for it. You’d get into the office having been away for three weeks and someone had been round to your house to pack your bags go on your next trip. So I feel like this will be all consuming as-well but I’ve lived that life before and I naively think I might be ready for it.

Have you had any advice from anyone that’s done the show before?

Dan Walker and Ore Oduba have both said “call me anytime”. They both absolutely loved the show and Ore still talks about what a transformative experience it was in his life, he makes me laugh, all these years on and he is still talking about it! Dan said it was the most fun he had ever had.

Do you know any of your fellow 2022 contestants?

Yes, I know Fleur and love her, we have golf lessons together, if it’s possible she’s even nicer than she comes across on TV. She’s just got the most lovely energy and she’s so fun. I’ve worked with Ellie Taylor a couple of times and Ellie Simmonds I know through work a little bit. Obviously I’ve got my Countryfile companion in Hamza but we’ve never worked together, so that’s going be fun!

Who do you think your biggest competition will be?

Oh myself without a shadow of a doubt. Everyone thinks that I am so competitive, but I am only really competitive with myself. If I’m going to do it, I want to do it well!

So do you have your eye on the Glitterball?

I just want to take it one week at a time. I know everyone always says “I want to get to Blackpool” but all my family are in the North West so I do want to get to Blackpool and that would be a win for me.

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

It was the splits for a long time, and then I tore my hamstring and I’ve never been able to do it since!