On Saturday night, this year's 15 Strictly celebrities will perform a ballroom or Latin routine LIVE for the very first time. And Blue star Lee Ryan doubts his boyband moves will be any use at all...
Can ex EastEnders actor and Blue singer Lee Ryan show he’s got the moves on Strictly?
Why did you want to take part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing?
Lee Ryan: “I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to do it at first, I was quite scared but I think now I’ve gotten into it, I’m really happy I made the decision to do it. Strictly is such a big machine, that has such massive press attention around it. I’m either working or with my kids at home, so jumping into something like this can be quite daunting and make you feel quite vulnerable.”
Your Blue bandmate Simon Webbe came runner-up on Strictly in 2014. Has he given you any advice?
LR” “Simon’s given me loads of advice, showed me a few things and taught me about posture. But the biggest piece of advice he’s given me is to just have fun, enjoy the whole process and be the happy-go-lucky guy that I am.”
Do you think any dance moves you learned in Blue will help you on Strictly?
LR: “Have you seen Blue perform? We’re like a ‘dad dance’ band! We may do a few steps here and there, so we’re entertaining visually, but I’ve never done anything as intricate or technical as this.”
What dances are you most looking forward to?
LR: “I’m really looking forward to performing a waltz. I got dressed up in my white tie and tails recently and I felt like Fred Astaire. I wanted to jump straight into an old movie and look for Marilyn Monroe.”
How are you feeling about being critiqued by the judges? Do you think you might have some comebacks for Craig Revel Horwood?
LR: “It’ll be hard not to take criticism personally because we’re all going to put so much hard work and effort into this but I’m not a professional dancer, so I can’t take offence to anything Craig says. My little girl has already said: ‘Dad, you can’t dance, you’re gonna embarrass me’. The judges can’t be any harsher than that!”
You left EastEnders as Harry ‘Woody’ Woodward a few months ago. Is there a chance you might return one day?
LR: “Well, when I left EastEnders they said they were gonna keep it open for me to come back, so who knows. But I am doing other stuff now and I’ve got a film that I’m working on. There’s so much opportunity that came off the back of EastEnders and, to be honest, I think that’s why I got asked to do Strictly. I’m a rare hybrid now of being an actor and a popstar, there’s only a few of us. It’s nice to be able to say that I was on one of the biggest soaps that’s ever existed in this country and now I’m on the biggest entertainment show in this country. I feel very privileged.”
Strictly Come Dancing, featuring Lee Ryan, goes LIVE on Saturday September 22nd at 6.15pm on BBC1.