Just before Strictly Come Dancing begins its live shows this Friday (BBC1, 9pm), Len Goodman tells What’s On TV what he thinks could be about happen on the dancefloor…
How’s it all going in the run-up to the Strictly Come Dancing live shows?
“Ooooh. It’s a terrific line-up! I know some people say they don’t know the celebrities, but celebrity is peculiar – nobody would know me if they didn’t watch Strictly and if you didn’t watch Mrs Brown’s Boys you wouldn’t know who Jennifer was or if you don’t watch Bargain Hunt you might not know who Tim Wonnacott was. I don’t watch the soaps so I’m never good on people from EastEnders or Casualty, so I never really know who those people are. But I don’t think it matters because you get to know the celebrities while they’re doing the show. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Who’s your favourite so far? Have you seen them dance with their partners yet?
“I’ve not seen any of them dance yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing Tim Wonnacott because I watch Bargain Hunt and also MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace. It will be especially good seeing Gregg getting a touch of his own medicine from Craig because Craig did Celebrity MasterChef and got criticised quite often from Gregg. It’ll really give Craig a good chance to get his own back! But you expect anybody young and fit to be very good, Pixie Lott or some of the other youngsters will be ones to look out for.”
Are there any dark horses among the celebrities?
“Judy Murray is a dark horse definitely – I imagine she’s very competitive, by the way she sits up and screams at Andy when he’s on court. She’s a tennis coach so she knows about being coached and coaching and the technique of getting things right, so she could be the dark horse of it, you never know. Perhaps Andy Murray will come on and cheer her on like she’s always cheering him on.”
“Rugby players in the past have been pretty good, so you’ve got that hunky guy Thom Evans, who could be quite good. And Simone Webbe was on a Strictly special once and he wasn’t bad as I recall. But who knows what’s going to happen?”
Had you met any of them before?
“Yes, Tim Wonnacott. I did Celebrity Bargain Hunt years ago. But not any of the others.”
So you’re going in with an open mind?
“I never have any favourites. And I try to go into the competition with no preconceptions of how they’re going to be and with an open mind. It’s about being honest about what I see on the dance floor.”
*The 15 celebrities in BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing will be perform their first dances this Friday and Saturday, with the first elimination the following Saturday (October 4).