Bill Bailey was concerned he’d ‘pose a health risk’ on Strictly Come Dancing | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
Strictly: Bill Bailey says that Oti Mabuse is ‘a very strict teacher’
Bailey, 56, returns to the Strictly Come Dancing dance floor this evening. The reigning champion will perform as a guest, giving the nation a final glimpse at his impeccable moves. He won the 2020 show in style and surprise as somewhat of a wildcard.
But Oti Mabuse, Strictly’s star professional dancer, took him under her wing, with Bailey doing the rest.
Despite quickly settling into his weekly performances, he wasn’t always so sure he would cope – let alone win.
After his success, Bailey revealed that he was concerned about his health just before preparation for the show began.
When asked by The Guardian what his expectations were going into the contest, he replied: “Low.
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“I was genuinely concerned that I’d pose a health risk.
“Not just flat-footed but actually a danger due to my innate clumsiness.
“I had an anxiety dream where I set fire to Elstree Studios by tango-ing the wrong way and kicking over some lights.
“I’d be standing there, surrounded by devastation, while Craig Revel Horwood held up a ‘1’ and said, witheringly: ‘It was a disaster, darling, you’ve burned the ballroom down.’
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“So just getting around the dance floor in one piece was already a huge victory in my eyes.”
The final saw Bailey and Mabuse dance to Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ and ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by The Sugarhill Gang.
He rocked out with a fire-spraying replica of Brian May’s iconic Red Special guitar.
In a weekly diary for The Telegraph during the series, Bailey said of the Queen anthem: “The song itself has taken on a greater power and significance in light of the current pandemic situation and it’s devastating effect on the live arts, and feels now like an anthem for these times.”
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When Strictly co-host Claudia Winkleman described the song as “a rallying call”, Bailey agreed.
He said: “It was, and I think what we’ve found out is the restrictions are going to be harder and people are going to be isolated at Christmas.
“It’s not just a song about the arts, this is an anthem about not giving up, keeping hope, getting through this – this is what it is – the show must go on.
“It’s about being strong and getting through all of this.”
Strictly Come Dancing 2021: This year’s lineup
Meanwhile, this year’s bill features a range of characters.
Adam Peaty, fresh from his gold medal win in the Olympics Games, will be vying for the trophy.
Former Bake Off champion John Whaite has also thrown his hat in the mix.
Presenter Aj Odudu will also dance, as well as the familiar face of Dan Walker, and CBBC’s Rhys Stephenson close behind his BBC colleague.
Former Corrie actress Katie McGlynn, EastEnders’ Rose Ayling-Ellis and Nina Wadia make up this year’s contingent of soap stars past and present, while Peep Show’s Robert Webb has plenty of experience dressing up in outlandish costumes and throwing shapes thanks to his 2009 stint on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief — he recreated the iconic routine from Flashdance.
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Tilly Ramsay, Gordon’s daughter, will attract the TikTok vote, while actor Greg Wise has dedicated his appearance on the show to his sister, “a disco diva queen goddess on the dance floor, who died almost five years to the day to when I’m going to start work on this.”
Rounding up the group are Judi Love, Dragon’s Den’s resident Sara Davies, former rugby union player and new Question of Sport team captain Ugo Monye, and McFly’s Tom Fletcher.
Viewers will find out who’s paired with who in tonight’s episode.
Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One at 7:45pm.