Stacey Dooley: ‘I’ll be back on Strictly next year… as a pro!’

As Strictly gears up for its grand final on Saturday night, finalist Stacey Dooley joked that fans might see her back on the show next year - as one of its pro dancers...

It’s the Strictly Come Dancing final on Saturday night and, while this year’s four finalists are within touching distance of the glitterball trophy, it seems Stacey Dooley has already got her eye on an even bigger prize.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the final, the documentary maker – famous for her BBC3 Stacey Dooley Investigates… series – revealed she may be returning to Strictly next year… as one of the show’s professional dancers!

Talking to reporters about her plans for once Strictly is over, Stacey – who is partnered with Kevin Clifton – said: “Documentaries are my passion, so I’ll be going back to them after Christmas, we’ve got lots going on,” but then teased: “But also I’ve got to take into consideration that Strictly are probably going to ask me to be a professional next year, so from next September to December, I’ll be wrapped up with that!”

stacey and Kevin Strictly Awards

On Saturday, though, Stacey and her fellow finalists former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, Steps star Faye Tozer and YouTuber Joe Sugg, will be focusing on the Strictly final.

Whether she gets to lift the glitterball trophy or not, Stacey has enjoyed every moment of her Strictly experience – but she admitted she ‘totally underestimated the workload involved’.

“When I signed up for Strictly, I thought, it’ll be great, I’ll be in the UK for a couple of months, I’ll stop before Christmas, I’ll dance for six hours a day, perfect. No… you train for 12 hours a day, everything hurts, you’re in bits, you don’t know the routine and you’re driving yourself loopy. It’s a hard gig… but it’s so worthwhile.”

She added: “I am a documentary maker who makes serious programmes but also I am just a young girl who enjoys the entertainment side of things. I’ve loved Strictly. I really didn’t realise I would love ballroom dancing this much.”

As the only professional dancer to compete in four consecutive Strictly finals (2013-2016) but never to have won, Kevin said he would LOVE to get his hands on the glitterball trophy this year.

“Speaking as someone who seems to be runner-up every single year, of course all of us would love to win just once,” said Kevin before adding that ‘winning’s not the most important thing in the world’ and that all of the finalists just want to put on a great show on Saturday night.

“With all the horrible stuff that happens in the world, it is so important to make people smile once in a while,” said Kevin. “I think it’s important that people have the opportunity to sit down and not watch horror on the news or watch something other than Brexit for a minute and actually just be made to smile for a couple of hours. We all want this final to be the most joyous thing on TV. That’s what Strictly does so well and that’s why it’s lasted so long.”

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final on Saturday December 15 at 6.30pm on BBC1.