Caroline Flack, Frankie Bridge and Pixie Lott discuss the battle for the glitterball trophy, Judy Murray’s mum’s shortbread and why Strictly isn’t as glam as you’d think, when they talk to TV Times at an exclusive photoshoot…

Ladies, are you enjoying being on such a glamorous show?
Frankie: “There’s glitter everywhere, but it’s not really that glamorous! We get ready so early because there are so many of us, so for the Halloween special I was green from about 10am until the end of the evening.”
Caroline: “She was green but she didn’t have her wig on, she just had the skullcap, so she looked like a pea all day!”
Pixie: “I always look terrible in training. Poor Trent, I turn up with my horrible socks on. “
Frankie: “You’ve always got those horrible socks on!”
Pixie: “I just like being comfy so when we’re at the studios all day I scoot around in my socks. I pick up a bit of dirt along the way, but it’s comfortable!”

What happens before the show on a Saturday night?
Caroline: “We go to Starbucks, drink a lot of tea and sit around eating shortbread!”
Frankie: “Judy’s mum makes amazing shortbread and she now has to bring it in every week.”
Pixie: “It’s sooo good!”
Frankie: “How exciting are we, the young ones on the show, sitting around eating and talking about rubbish?”
Caroline: “The other day we spent hours just reading riddles to each other! I love sitting there with a cup of tea, talking about how our training weeks have been, it’s so nice.”

How do you calm down after the show?
Pixie: “Calm down? We go crazy!”
Frankie: “Everyone gets on so well, so we tend to go out a lot. Mark Wright took us for a night on the town in Essex the other day.”
Pixie: “It’s so much fun going out in a big group, it brings you closer together. I’m 23 so I felt like I’d made all my friends already, but this experience is introducing me to new ones.”
Frankie: “I’ve loved meeting people like Tim Wonnacott, who we would never have necessarily become friends with otherwise, but he’s amazing.”

We’re getting close to the final now – you must be more desperate than ever to avoid the dreaded dance-off?
Frankie: “No one wants to go home because you’re having so much fun. It will be horrible when we have to leave and you don’t get to see everyone every weekend. It’s unfair that my partner Kevin gets to come back next year and I don’t!”
Caroline: “Yeah I want this to be my job. I just want to do Strictly every week for the rest of my life!”
Pixie: “It’s going so quickly already and Thom leaving the show made us realise that nobody is safe. We have no clue who is going to win.”

Have you enjoyed learning more about ballroom dancing?
Pixie: “Yes, my granddad was telling me last week that back in the day, instead of meeting someone in a club, every Friday night they’d all go down to the ballroom, do the foxtrot and have a couple of drinks afterwards. I think that’s amazing, I wish it was like that nowadays instead of twerking.”
Frankie: “It’s more romantic isn’t it? My granddad always goes on about the rumba. When Kevin told me what the dance was all about I felt a bit awkward!” 

Are you teaching the men in your lives how to waltz?
Caroline: “I always get my boyfriend Jack to dance around the house and sometimes we realise we’re taking it far too seriously!”
Pixie: “My boyfriend, Oliver, wouldn’t be up for that, he’d just say, ‘Nah!’ Frankie’s husband [former England footballer] Wayne secretly loves it.”
Frankie: “He’s always getting the professional dancers to teach him something. Aljaz was showing him how to do the figure of eight Latin hips the other day, so I think he’s getting into it.”

Strictly takes over your life. Are you planning a lovely, relaxing Christmas?
Frankie: “Yes! I keep saying I’m going to book a holiday. I might have Christmas at my house for the first time, but I won’t be cooking. Sometimes on a Sunday I make my mum come over and do a roast, so I’ll probably get her to do that for Christmas Day! I’ll make some mince pies though, I’m going to bring them into Strictly. I never liked them until I started making my mum’s recipe, but I love them now – I made loads last year!”
Pixie: “I absolutely love Christmas, it’s so much fun. I love the build-up in December, when you can start getting excited and there’s the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping in the cold.”
Caroline: “I’m the opposite to Pixie! I like Christmas, but it’s stressful because all my family are separated, so you have to have a timetable of where you need to be, there’s a whole schedule.”
Frankie: “If we get to the final it’s going to be the worst Christmas ever because it’s a nightmare trying to get everything organised while you’re training. But my one-year old son Parker still hasn’t opened all his birthday presents, so we’ll probably rewrap them for Christmas! We might spend Christmas Day watching the Strictly Christmas special with Pixie and Caroline.”
Pixie: “Yeah, what time is it on? I’ve got to get it in the diary!”