Could Will Young be the most laid-back contestant on this year's Strictly? Here, the musician talks about taking everything in his stride... and stalking Len Goodman!

Will Young may have won Pop Idol – but does he have what it takes to go all the way on Strictly?

What made you want to take part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing?
“As a fan of Strictly for years, I have always imagined myself on the show, but it has never tied in with the music or the acting… until now. I performed on the show last year and I just loved it, I loved the vibe. It felt like a real family and I said to my manager then that, if they ever ask, I’ll do it!”

You famously answered back to Simon Cowell when you were on Pop Idol in 2001. Have you got any fighting talk ready for Craig Revel Horwood?
“Oh, Craig’s all right – he’s a big softie, really. What’s nice is that all of the judges on Strictly give really good critiques and contestants always seem to take what they say on board. I really want to impress Len… I love him. I think I am bordering on stalker level!”

Strictly Come Dancing Judges

Although Will’s the one being judged, it sounds like Len Goodman’s the one who should be afraid…

Do you think the dancing you’ve done in your music career will help you on Strictly?
“The dancing I’ve done in my music career has given me confidence no end. I couldn’t even stand on stage without holding a mic stand at first – it took me five years to be able to not do that. But now there will be no microphone or band – just me, my professional dance partner, Karen Clifton, and the dance floor.”

Strictly Will Young and Karen Clifton

‘She’s a bit clingy, but we’ll work with that,’ said Will as a delighted Karen was revealed as his partner

 

What do you think will be the biggest challenges you’ll face on Strictly?
“The idea of Ballroom and Latin terrifies me and excites me in equal measure – but I really want the challenge of learning dances I’ve never done before. I’m used to getting into character in my music videos, and it’s nice that every dance will require a different character depending on the style and the song.

“My biggest challenge will be remembering the technique of every dance – and trying not to be late!”

Strictly Will Young and Karen Clifton

We do hope Karen and Will will still be all smiles after their first live performance this weekend?

 

After winning Pop Idol, do you think you can win Strictly?
“Well, I won’t get competitive. When I did Pop Idol, I wasn’t competitive on that either. I just want to do my best, take it week by week and work as hard as I can. Strictly is a show with fantastic live music and has an ethos of positivity and growth. I practise these two things every day, and I will try my hardest to be the best dancer possible.”

Strictly Come Dancing starts on Friday, September 23 at 9pm, and continues on Saturday September 24 on BBC1.