As EastEnders' Emma Barton takes to the Strictly dancefloor on Saturday night, it seems she can count on her co-stars for support...
Best known for playing Honey Mitchell in EastEnders, actress Emma Barton hopes her experience on stage and screen will come in handy when she steps out onto the Strictly dancefloor on Saturday night.
“I’ve appeared in the musical Chicago, so I’m hoping my musicality might give me an advantage. That was 10 years ago, though, and completely different to any of the dances we’ll be learning on Strictly,” says Emma, 42, who was paired with pro-dancer Anton Du Beke on the launch show.
On Saturday, Emma will join the other 14 celebrities including ex Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley and comedian Chris Ramsey to perform a ballroom or Latin routine for the very first time.
“I’m really looking forward to ballroom dances like the waltz,” she says. “The costume, the hair, the elegance… I just know I’ll feel like a Hollywood star. I’m a bit worried about the faster dances – but I’m hoping my partner will make me look good!”
Emma will be following in the footsteps of many of her EastEnders’ co-stars including Jake Wood, Scott Maslen and Kellie Bright, who’ve all taken part in past series of Strictly.
“They’ve all been so supportive,” she reveals. “Jake said: ‘If all else fails, Em, just wiggle those hips, girl!’ It worked for him – but I don’t think I’m gonna do it nearly as well as he did!”
Luckily, there are no eliminations this week, as the public vote doesn’t open until next week. However, watching the celebrities’ every move will be Strictly’s resident judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and newcomer Motsi Mabuse.
Regardless of how well she does in the competition, Emma is loving her Strictly experience. “It’s the biggest show on telly and you’re learning such a wonderful skill and being taught by the best in the business,” she says. “The team want you to feel like a million dollars – and I’ve certainly felt like that.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday September 21 at 7pm on BBC1.