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Interview with James Bye on Strictly Come Dancing 2022

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What made you want to take part in Strictly this year?

I wanted to use this opportunity to show my kids that with a bit of hard work and perseverance you can achieve anything. So I guess that’s a sort of a glorified parenting technique, I’m using Strictly to parent my children. Since I’ve mentioned that daddy’s going to be a dancer, there’s been a lot more interest now watching daddy dance around the kitchen whilst making dinner.

My other reason is that my in-laws are huge fans, they’ll be wanting tickets and maybe even the spray tan.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be?

The biggest challenge for me, is going to be the unknown. I don’t know if I can dance, I might be amazing but it’s very unlikely that that is the case. It’s more likely that, because I’m long, either my hands will be doing the right thing or my feet will be, but I don’t know if both will do the same at the same time. I am also worried for any parts of the dance where I am left to my own devices, that’s what I am most scared of!

How do you feel about being Strictly-fied?

I’m looking forward to it because it’s like a package deal. It’s embracing what Strictly is. I’m an actor, I’m going to play a role and commit to it.

Are there any memorable or standout moments for you, from previous series?

My best friend, Davood Ghadami was on the show years ago, and I came to watch and he was great. I remember him doing the Paso Doble and that did look good. At the time I wound him up about it, but I was really proud of him. Also Jake Wood, when he did the snake hips to Mambo No. 5, that was a million miles from Max Branning. I’m aware I’ve kept this very EastEnders focused, but I can’t not mention our reigning champion Rose from last series, when the music dropped I think she brought the nation to tears. It was beautiful and she is such an incredible human being.

Do you have any previous dance experience?

No I haven’t, I have been lucky enough to take part in Children in Need with EastEnders where we did a little choreographed dance, but I ended up in A&E as my meniscus snapped and I was rushed off to knee surgery. That was about four years ago now!

How are you preparing for the show?

I am trying to increase my fitness. I’m not unfit but I’m certainly not a fit person. Since the announcement, the new years resolution has kicked in! I was already walking on the treadmill now I’ve just turned that into a run and am doing a bit more in the gym to increase my stamina, so that I’ve got something in my arsenal.

Have you have any advice for anyone who’s on the show before?

When I was announced I had lots of people calling me, Brian Conley, Tameka Empson and obviously Davood. The advice to be honest, was pretty much the same and it was just enjoy yourself and embrace it. It’s completely different to anything else. I think Brian’s words were “you’re never going to have an experience like it, so just don’t miss a beat, just go with it”, and I’m really going to hold on to that.

Do you have your eye on the Glitterball?

At the moment, not really. I’m just in it to have as much fun as possible. I’d love to get to Blackpool, then you can say you really gave it a good go. There is also the added pressure that the last three people from EastEnders have been in the final!

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

The standing still moonwalk!.