Strictly really heats up this weekend as the 15 celebs face the first public vote. Lesley Joseph is determined not to be the first to leave the competition

Best known for playing leopard-print loving man-eater Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather, Lesley Joseph hopes she’ll get to enjoy the glamour of Strictly Come Dancing for some time…

Lesley, why did you want to take part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing?
“Well, firstly because it’s one of the most iconic, if not THE most iconic programmes on television. It’s fun, it’s escapism so when I was asked I thought: ‘You know what, right place, right time’. I just couldn’t say no.”

What have you most enjoyed about the experience so far?
“Oooh, I love the glamour, the big hair, the make-up and, of course, the spray tans.”

And what do you think of your dance partner, Anton du Beke?
“I want to learn how to dance properly and this man is a legend, so I’m thrilled that he’s teaching me.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 Lesley Anton

It seems Lesley loves being twirled around the dancefloor by Strictly ‘legend’ Anton du Beke


We saw you and Anton dance a waltz last weekend and this Saturday you’ll be performing a cha cha. This week, however, all 15 celebrities will face the public vote – are you anxious about being the first to be eliminated?
“I am. If you go out in the first week, you’d feel you never really had a chance to dance. In the first week, everyone’s so nervous about just getting themselves onto the floor and getting through it. I’d love to do some of the Latin dances, so I’d feel slightly cheated if I only got to do the waltz and the cha cha. And, I must say, I would love to get to Blackpool…”

Ah yes, the world famous Tower Ballroom…
“I’d love to get to Blackpool to dance in one of the most beautiful ballrooms in the entire world. Getting to Blackpool would also mean that I’d be halfway through the competition, meaning I’d done well.”

What do your Birds of a Feather co-stars Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson think about you doing Strictly?
“Well, they’re both over the moon, completely and utterly thrilled. Linda came to watch me on the launch show and she especially is beside herself with joy that I’m actually doing it.”

Lesley Joseph, Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson

Lesley as Dorien with her Birds of a Feather co-stars Pauline Quirke (Sharon) and Linda Robson (Tracey)


Which Strictly judge are you most keen to impress?
“Craig, because we job-shared when we both played Miss Hannigan on stage last year. He opened in Annie and then I took over, so I really want to impress him. Do you know what, I’d just be thrilled if any of them were impressed; they’re all experts in their field so I’d just love them to say something positive!”

As the oldest female contestant ever to grace the Strictly dance floor, what do you see as your biggest challenge?
“I’m not 21, 31 or 41, so keeping up with training will be the biggest challenge. I want to be able to pace myself and not absolutely exhaust myself before I get to the Saturday night!”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday October 1 at 6.20pm on BBC1