After three very enjoyable but gruelling months on the television show, seven stars of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing have signed up to go through it all again as part of the Strictly Live Tour.
The tour, which comes to Nottingham Capital FM Arena on February 4-5, will be hosted by 2012 Strictly star Lisa Riley and promises to be the most glittering yet over 31 shows.
It’s a big commitment - but one which the stars can’t wait for, with many relishing the chance to get back on the dance floor and show off their skills to a home crowd.
“The treatment was exceptional and after a holiday over Christmas, I’m desperate to cling on to some sequins again. I’ve heard you can buy them so I might get one as a memento of my Strictly experience.”
Strictly Come Dancing 2013 winner, footballer’s wife and TV presenter Abbey Clancy, 27, married to England and Stoke striker Peter Crouch, is desperate not to hang up her dance shoes.
“For me, Strictly has been the most incredible experience and I wanted to carry on forever,” she said. “So the tour is a brilliant opportunity to keep dancing.
“Peter loves dancing and so does our daughter Sophia. When I was on Strictly, she wouldn’t watch the show unless she was wearing a tutu and little dance shoes. The costumes on the show are beautiful and I love the fact the tour means I can carry on getting made up, getting a fake tan, tons of glitter and millions of hair extensions. It’s every girl’s dream.”
Abbey’s not the only one who’s itching to get back into her Strictly costume.
Waterloo Road star Mark Benton, 48, was knocked out in week nine but was a firm favourite with fans for his off-the-wall routines and outlandish outfits with partner Iveta Lukosiute, including their version of MC Hammer’s You Can’t Touch This, complete with rap-star style gold costume. It’s a crowd-pleaser that looks certain to get another outing on the live tour.
“I think we’re going to do You Can’t Touch This on the tour.” Mark said, “So many people come up to me and say they love it, it would be rude not to do it.
“But I think we’d love to put more content into the dance on the live show.”
Mark, who lost three stone during his time on the show, added: “We want to really surprise people on the tour. Ben Cohen kept taking his top off to win over the ladies, so maybe I will take my trousers off?” he joked.
Strictly Come Dancing 2013 runner-up and BBC Breakfast star Susanna Reid also built up a loyal following. The 43-year-old was dubbed ‘Superwoman’ for her ability to fit in a demanding career on breakfast television, being a mum to three children and her training for the show. So performing in front of a crowd of 10,000 excited Strictly fans filling arenas should be a doddle, right?
“I work on TV so am used to performing in front of cameras and not seeing the whites of people’s eyes looking up at you and hoping to be entertained,” she said. “But performing to such a big crowd, you get the instant feedback that you don’t get with TV. I got a taste of it during Strictly in front of the studio audience and more so at Blackpool and I am looking forward to it again on the tour.”
So what does Susanna think she’ll bring to the Strictly live tour? “I think I have proved that as a woman over 40 with three children you can learn to dance with a gorgeous young teacher,” she said with a laugh. “I might not get every step right, but I do it with a smile on my face. And after the tour is over I will still be dancing in my local clubs every Friday night.”
Tickets are available to buy now and are priced at £50.40 and £72.80 (price includes administration fee). Tickets can be booked online at www.capitalfmarena.com, via 0843 373 3000 or in person at Bolero Square, The Lace Market, Nottingham, NG1 1LA.
Please note there is a maximum of eight tickets per person for this show.