Will Deb­bie M waltz off with Strictly?

‘GIO­VANNI LOOKS IN THE MIR­ROR MORE THAN I DO!’

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Sur­prise star Deb­bie McGee talks to us about her chang­ing body, her big­gest com­pe­ti­tion and danc­ing with Gio­vanni Per­nice…

She’s tipped to reach the fi­nal af­ter wow­ing us with the paso doble in week one, the Vi­en­nese waltz in week two, and the quick­step in week three – and Strictly Come Danc­ing’s

Deb­bie McGee, 58, is hav­ing the time of her life. ‘It’s fan­tas­tic, I’m in a dream, I can’t be­lieve the re­ac­tion,’ she tells us at the open­ing night of the mu­si­cal An­nie at Lon­don’s Pic­cadilly The­atre, star­ring

Strictly judge Craig Revel Hor­wood. But she ad­mits she has stiff com­pe­ti­tion to take the Strictly glit­ter­ball… HI, DEB­BIE! YOU SEEM TO BE BREEZING THROUGH THE WEEKS. ARE YOU FIND­ING ANY­THING DIF­FI­CULT? Ev­ery­thing! None of it is easy, you just have to keep do­ing it and do­ing it, and then you even­tu­ally go, ‘Ooh, I’m get­ting there.’ YOU TRAINED AT THE ROYAL BAL­LET SCHOOL FOR A FEW YEARS WHEN YOU WERE 16. DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE AN UN­FAIR AD­VAN­TAGE? No, I re­ally don’t. I’m nearly 60. I danced as a girl and, yes, I did it pro­fes­sion­ally for about three years, but since then I haven’t done it. I’ve chore­ographed, but you don’t dance when you chore­o­graph! I’ve never done ball­room Latin, and it’s so dif­fer­ent. HOW IS DANC­ING WITH HUNKY GIO­VANNI?

[Laughs] It’s re­ally tough... He looks in the mir­ror more than I do! HAVE YOU SEEN A CHANGE IN YOUR BODY SINCE THE SHOW BE­GAN? Yes, I feel a bit more pulled up! My legs are more toned, and my stom­ach. HOW DO YOU DANCE IN HEELS?

I’ve worn high heels all my life. If you stop wear­ing them, you can’t go back, so you just have to get used to it. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SHIRLEY BAL­LAS BE­ING HEAD JUDGE? I think she’s fan­tas­tic. She’s a great choice. Her com­ments are ab­so­lutely spot-on, and she de­liv­ers them with such grace. WHO DO YOU THINK IS YOUR BIG­GEST COM­PE­TI­TION ON THE SHOW? I think there’s a lot of com­pe­ti­tion, but par­tic­u­larly from As­ton [Mer­ry­gold] and Alexan­dra [Burke]. Joe [McFad­den] could be a dark horse be­cause he’s re­ally good, but all the oth­ers have got some­thing to give and are pop­u­lar with the pub­lic, which I don’t take for granted.

Gio­vanni is Deb­bie’s Strictly dance part­ner

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