Woman’s Strictly columnist reports from backstage…

Speaking the truth

The professionals have a really tough job choreographing their celebrity’s performances every week, so I’d like to make it clear that we’re not judging them. People picked up on tension between Karen Clifton and I, but that’s certainly not the case – I don’t always get time to explain my comments. I was trying to say that I wouldn’t be deducting points from Charles because I didn’t feel like it was a mistake on his part.

Wardrobe mishaps!

I’d like to commend Janette [Manrara] for staying totally professional when her dress got tangled the other week. These things happen – it’s happened to all of us and our wardrobe people do everything in their power to make sure they don’t happen. Let it be a beautiful lesson to us all – when it all goes wrong, keep going. The show must go on! It was true professionalism.


Don’t peak too soon!

Ashley [Roberts] got the first nine of the series, but we have to remember it’s a journey. If we gave someone a 10 too soon there would be nowhere for them to go. And that is what the show is all about – their journey.
As a judging panel, we’re doing everything from a good place and with a kind heart because we really want them to improve. If we give four 10s then where are we going to go?

Mounting pressure!

Although the celebrities have had a couple of weeks to get used to the process now, I think their nerves are worse than ever because of the shorter training time. There’s an awful lot to be done in that week, from learning the choreography and perfecting their performances, to recording their VTs and sorting out their costumes – it’s not just 100% dancing!