Let’s trip the light fantastic!
The remaining celebrities in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing have spoken of their excitement in the run-up to one of the BBC series’ most eagerly anticipated shows in Blackpool.
They include ex-MP Ed Balls, who has defied all the odds – and the opinions of the judges – to reach the iconic Blackpool stage of the contest.
The former shadow chancellor took to Twitter to thank the voters who kept him and professional dance partner Katya Jones in the contest and to say they were ‘so looking forward to Blackpool’.
And he appeared on Strictly spin-off show ‘It Takes Two’ on Tuesday night to reject claims that he might drop out of the competition, telling host Zoe Ball he will keep dancing as long as the public are voting for him.
He said: “The reason why we’re still in the show and going to Blackpool is because the public have voted for us and to them a huge thanks because they are the ones putting us there and if they keep wanting us to get back then we’ll come back and that’s the most important thing.”
If people keep wanting us to, we will come back
Balls will dance to the 1954 Jerry Lee Lewis hit ‘Great Balls of Fire’ on Saturday’s show, after his pelvic thrusting and pony dancing to Psy’s Gangnam Style captured the imagination of the voting public.
He joked that the only thing he has ruled out from this weekend’s performance in the resort is being “fired out of a cannon”, adding: “but apparently anything else is possible.”
Joining Ed Balls in the Tower Ballroom will be Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford, who will be performing a quickstep to Hand Jive by Sha Na Na, after being saved in Sunday night’s dance off.
After being saved, he tweeted: “My mum and grandma were in the crowd on Saturday. Sadly that was 58 per cent of my usual votes wiped out. So grateful to be going to Blackpool!”
He added: “Thankfully I get another week with my amazing dance partner @RealNatalieLowe. We’re aiming to bring you something special in Blackpool”.
BBC Sports presenter Ore Oduba, who will be dancing a Viennese waltz to Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life, also told of his excitement, tweeting: “When you wake up and remember you’re spending your birthday weekend in #BLACKPOOL!!! Can’t. Believe. It! #Strictly”
The other celebrities performing in Blackpool on Saturday are: Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane, doing a jive to Toni Basil’s Hey Mickey; TV presenter Louise Redknapp, dancing the paso doble to Explosive by Bond; actor Danny Mac, who will be doing the Charleston to Gregory Porter’s Puttin’ On The Ritz; and Judge Rinder, dancing the salsa to Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls.
BBC crews have already arrived in the resort ahead of the weekend’s show, which will be shown on BBC One at 6.55pm on Saturday.