The Version Interview... Louise Redknapp and Laura Whitmore on Strictly 2016
Mission Fabulous has finally touched down on Planet Earth as the BAFTA award-winning Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One for its fourteenth fabulous series. The celebrity contestants of 2016 are Lesley Joseph, Greg Rutherford, Tameka Empson, Ed Balls, Will Young, Laura Whitmore, Ore Oduba, Melvin Odoom, Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac, Daisy Lowe, Naga Munchetty, Anastacia, Claudia Fragapane and Judge Rinder. Also returning is Strictly’s out of this world judging panel of Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and, in his final year, Head Judge, Len Goodman.
We caught up with showbiz beauties Louise Redknapp and Laura Whitmore to find out how they're feeling ahead of this weekend's first live shows...
Which dance are you most looking forward to?
The Jive because my mum can Jive! I’ve seen my mum and her sisters at weddings. My mum is one of thirteen like any good Irish family, so you always see her and her sisters up jiving and it’s so fast I get scared! I remember my dad trying to Jive with me and just being so frightened on that dance floor because there were so many Whitmore women around and I just thought “this is not safe!”
Which judge do you want to impress the most and why?
I think I want to impress all of the judges. Len is Head Judge and it’s his last year so it would be great to get him on side. I love Craig because I kind of feel he is a bit of a Pantomime Villain. I feel he’s maybe not as mean as he seems he is so if you get Craig to say anything nice about you it’s good. Bruno seems like he is really good fun so I hope he warms to me and then I just think Darcey is the classiest woman ever, she’s gorgeous, she’s delicious so I want to have a girl on my side as well.
What are you most looking forward to from the whole Strictly experience?
I suppose, learning a new skill of how to dance. My friends are so jealous. I’ll be learning a new skill and getting fit! Just to learn a new skill will be great and I suppose maybe at the next Whitmore wedding I’ll get on that Jive floor with all my aunties and I’ll show them a thing or two!
What are you looking for in a dance partner?
Somebody who I can feel really comfortable with, somebody that can support me and won’t be really angry if I go wrong. I’m really hard working and I’m not a ‘let’s all mess around’ type person. I’m a mum, I’ve got my husband at home, I’ll want to go and get on with the job in hand and I’ll want to learn want I need to do and I’ll do it to the best of my ability. I also know nerves can really get the better of me and I’ll think it will be my biggest downfall.
Which of the judges do you want to impress the most?
I think to impress them all is clearly the aim of the game. I really respect Darcey as a dancer. When I was younger I really loved watching her, I’ve seen her in shows and I think she’s incredible. I think to impress her on the dance front as a woman would be amazing but to impress them all would obviously be ideal!
What are you looking forward to most from the whole Strictly experience?
I think just having the opportunity to perform again. When you’ve grown up as a performer and you’ve been in the music industry and you’ve played at Wembley and you’ve done concerts everywhere, it’s all about performing. When all of the sudden that’s taken away from you there’s quite a big void of something you love to do and you don’t quite get the same buzz of performing in the lounge in front of your kids! I think just getting back out there and having the opportunity to perform to music is what I’m most looking forward to. I think a lot of people go into Strictly wanting something out of it at the end. I’m not doing it for that. I’m quite happy with my life and I don’t want to do loads more, I’m happy with my business, my kids, my everything else, so I think it’s just about having one last shot at putting on the dance shoes and a few jazz hands!
Strictly starts Friday night at 9pm on BBC One.