We reveal all you need to know about the Strictly Come Dancing judge…


Darcey alongside fellow Strictly judges Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Harwood and Shirley Ballas

1. Darcey Bussell is married to banker Angus Forbes. They have two children, Phoebe, 11, and Zoe, 8.

2. Darcey has no qualms about being a tough judge on Strictly. ‘I try to be constructive. I’ve got Craig sitting next to me so I don’t need to be vicious. He is rubbing off on me a bit and I suppose my marking is a bit low. That is where I’m a bit mean.’

3. After her biological father John Crittle left her mother, Darcey was adopted by her stepfather Philip Bussell. Her relationship with John was fraught and the pair didn’t reconcile before he died.

4. She was surprised to be invited to dance in the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremony. “I said, ‘Are you sure you want me to come out of retirement? There are lots of other amazing dancers.’ But it was so exciting to be involved. Who wouldn’t want to represent Britain?”

5. Darcey is dyslexic but has still created a series of children’s books called Magic Ballerina.

6. Darcey lives in Australia, but has returned to the UK for Strictly. “Moving to Australia and retiring gave me a new identity,” she says. “I’ve realised that I’m OK and I can do other things apart from dancing. I can cook a lasagne! Even my husband was quite surprised.”

7. At the age of 20, she became the youngest principal dancer the Royal Ballet ever had.

8. Darcey was surprised to learn how viewers reacted to her saying ‘yah’ constantly in the first show. ‘It was such a shock because I really didn’t appreciate how many times I said it until I watched the show back. I didn’t even hear it!’

9. Having suffered from agonising pain as a result of her dancing and training for years, Darcey finds it particularly painful to wear high heels.

10. She admits that she felt depressed after she retired. “I came out of a career and finished at the top. Just like an athlete, it’s such an adrenalin rush and when you step aside, of course there’s something missing. Ballet is a very blinkered world, but one I’ve been addicted to for many years.”