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Catch up with the stars of Strictly Come Dancing Live

13 Jan 2014

After three very enjoyable but gruelling months on the television show, the seven stars of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing have signed up to go through it all again as part of the Strictly Live Tour, which comes to Phones 4u Arena on Thurs 6 & Fri 7 February 2014.

Strictly Come Dancing 2013 runner-up and Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede said:

“I am very much looking forward to performing in Manchester. The city looked after me so warmly when I was in Coronation Street and I can’t wait to play to a north-west crowd. Also it will be the first time my mum has seen me dance live. During the series she wanted to stay at home so she could vote for me so it will be the first time she will see me dance.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2013 winner, footballer’s wife and TV presenter Abbey Clancy is another star 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. It will be amazing to go and perform at the Echo Arena in Liverpool in front of loads of Scousers. This is a chance for all my family and friends who couldn’t make it to the TV show, to come and see me dance."

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.  “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.

Rugby player Ben Cohen’s topless Paso Doble with his partner Kristina Rihanoff was certainly one of the highlights of the series and one which Ben says he’s hoping to bring out again on the tour. He said:

“We put up a vote on Twitter asking fans which dance they wanted to see again on the tour and it was the Paso Doble that kept coming up.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2013 runner-up and BBC Breakfast star Susanna Reid also built up a loyal following during her time on Strictly. The 42-year-old TV presenter 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 filing 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.”

Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden is also chomping at the bit to get back in front of Len, Craig and Bruno for another chance at dancing with her partner Robin Windsor.

“I went out of the show quite early on” she said “So for me the tour will be an extension of my time on Strictly and a chance to perfect the routines."

But it’s not only this year’s crop of celebrities limbering up for a return to the Strictly dance floor. Westlife star Nicky Byrne, who appeared in last year’s series, is also dry cleaning his tuxedo and polishing up his dance shoes for another shot at getting his hands on the glitter ball trophy.

“We toured so many of the arenas we’re visiting when I was with Westlife so it will bring back some great memories. Places like Wembley, The O2, but also Glasgow’s Hydro arena, which wasn’t built when we last toured so I’m really excited about getting the chance to perform there." 

A year away hasn’t dampened Nicky’s competitive spirit either:

“I really want to win. I wanted to win the series last year and I was gutted when I got knocked out. And I’m looking forward to getting in front of the judges again. You always have good fun and banter with them and I’ve had a year to prepare my one-liners!”

See what the stars had to say during a recent photo shoot. Can't see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube


Find out more

Tickets for the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour shows at Phones 4u Arena Manchester are on sale now from Eventim. 
Click here for more information and to book

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