A Day In The Life Of...
Kim Winston, 31, from Glasgow is a producer on Strictly Come Dancing.
When I was 16 my maths teacher at the time managed to get me work experience at the BBC in Glasgow. I was lucky enough to be given a weekend job on Friday Sportscene, which I juggled with school work. After I finished my degree, I worked on the Fred Macaulay Show for a few years, which I absolutely loved. I was a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing, so I wrote to them and asked if they would see me, I didn’t hear anything back. A few months later I tried again and this time I told them I was going to be in London if they could possibly see me and eventually they agreed. I had the meeting and I was offered the job, so I packed up and moved to London. I’ve worked on the show for seven years. I work on the live team that produces the main and results show; I’m also Claudia Winkleman’s producer. I think Bruce Forsyth did an amazing job, but Tess and Claudia make a great partnership, they’ve got a great rapport. And they are both huge fans of the show. My working week is a little back to front as my busiest time is the weekend! During the week I work on building up the script for the weekend and we work closely with the dance teams to find out what music they are dancing to and what the concept is. I’m also involved in discussions about the performance order. During the week I’m in close contact with Claudia, as she likes to know what’s going on the show, so I keep her updated. Then, on Friday we will have a big script read with them and we will do a ‘block through’, which is basically like a run through of the script without the professionals. Once we are finished I sneak upstairs for a spray tan, I tend to be bright orange for the whole Strictly season!
At the weekend I tend to get up at around 8 in the morning and the first thing I do is look at twitter, it’s great to keep on top of what the dancers and celebrities are up to. I’ll grab a bowl of cereal, and I’m out the house 45 minutes later. My husband is a real keen gym person so he’s usually up and away. I’m really lucky as I only live 10 minutes from the studio so I don’t have a big commute. On the Saturday we have a dress rehearsal before the live show. It’s the first time you get an idea of what type of performance the stars are going to put on. I don’t tend to stop for lunch; I will just graze as there is food put on for the team, so you can help yourself whenever there’s a spare minute. The corridors are literally buzzing at the weekend, the atmosphere is electric. I’ve had lots of amazing moments on Strictly, but one of my career highlights was when dancer, Anton, taught me how to waltz, he is definitely one of my favourites, as is Strictly judge, Len – he’s a real character! During the live show I am upstairs in Claudia’s area, which we call the ‘Clauditorium’. I watch the show with her and chat about what she might ask the contestants, it’s quite full on as it’s live so you are reacting to the show. Obviously we can’t guess who is going to end up in the bottom two. Working weekends has a real impact on your social life, I’m not able to do much at weekends and I’ve missed out on a lot of weddings, but I don’t think I could ever leave – my mum would kill me! My mum and my dad come along to the final ever year, they absolutely love it! That’s the great thing about Strictly, it appeals to all ages – from my nephews and nieces to my grandma, everyone is a fan! Whenever I have time off I head straight back to Glasgow, I can never wait to get my onesie on and catch up with everyone! When we finish on a Saturday night we usually celebrate by going for a drink, we are a real tight-knit team and we’ve been working together for years. For some people who work evenings it’s difficult to unwind, but when I get home I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Kim with Claudia Winkleman and with judge Len Goodman