44-46 the big in­ter­view

Easten­ders hunk Davood Ghadami tells us why he’s ex­cited about his new role as a con­tes­tant on Strictly Come Danc­ing…

Soaplife - - Hot This Issue - Words: Ali­son James main pic­ture: BBC

we’re deep in dis­cus­sion with davood Ghadami, who plays heart­throb mar­ket stallholder Kush Kazemi in Easten­ders, and he’s talk­ing about fab­rics, colours, cos­tumes, glit­ter and rhine­stones! ‘now that i’m do­ing Strictly Come Danc­ing, i have a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the show’s clob­ber,’ david says. ‘As soon as the rhine­stones are on – and we’ve all been queu­ing up for them – i feel i look like i can dance, even if i can’t. it’s the same as when you’re act­ing – you put on your char­ac­ter’s clothes and you’re half­way to be­com­ing that char­ac­ter.’ hmmm… never mind putting on clothes, we can’t wait to see him with his top off in this con­test.

Will the rhine­stone-en­crusted tops be com­ing off on Strictly?

i don’t know about that, but the shirt will cer­tainly be open at times. All the re­hears­ing and per­form­ing is like a high-in­ten­sity work­out. it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see how our bod­ies change as the show goes on.

Your body’s per­fect as it is! That be­came ob­vi­ous when Kush did his in­fa­mous naked walk through Al­bert Square…

there was a bit of a spike in my num­ber of twit­ter fol­low­ers after that! it’s a good thing for the show and the char­ac­ter, so i can’t com­plain.

With such an ath­letic physique – in­clud­ing a very im­pres­sive six-pack – it’s clear that you work out!

i have done since i left univer­sity in 2000. i’d do a few months on and a month off, and i didn’t take it too se­ri­ously un­til more re­cently. A friend opened a new gym with a dif­fer­ent way of train­ing – high-in­ten­sity moves and gym­nas­tic work mixed into an hour-long ses­sion with com­pe­ti­tions. i in­stantly fell in love with it.

Why did you de­cide to do Strictly Come Danc­ing?

i want to learn to dance and i want to learn a new skill, and i want to chal­lenge my­self be­cause it’s ob­vi­ously go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult for me hav­ing no dance ex­pe­ri­ence. i’m on the bot­tom rung of a very tall lad­der – that’s how it feels right now. i have no real ex­pe­ri­ence, so i can only get bet­ter.

And your part­ner’s Nadiya By­chkova…

Yes. i’m re­ally de­lighted about that, too. i think so much de­pends upon the chem­istry and the dy­namic be­tween the dance part­ners, and i feel nadiya and i have that. i’m in awe of all the amaz­ing pro­fes­sion­als on the show. they have the tough­est job be­cause they have to teach us, but they seem to re­ally en­joy it. they’re all lovely peo­ple, too.

You say you’re a novice on the dance floor. Are you scared that you’ll make mis­takes when you’re danc­ing live?

I find my­self flit­ting be­tween feel­ing ter­ri­fied with nerves, then feel­ing in­cred­i­ble ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pa­tion. It’s so far re­moved from any­thing I’ve ever done be­fore. Do­ing the live shows is scary but so ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

Are you com­pet­i­tive?

Yes. But hav­ing fun is more im­por­tant than win­ning. You’re also com­pet­ing against peo­ple you’ve quickly be­come mates with. I just want to have an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, have a great time and en­joy mak­ing new friends. Hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to take part in this year’s

Strictly is such an hon­our. It’s ex­cit­ing, chal­leng­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing all at once.

What are you most look­ing for­ward to on the show?

I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the Hal­loween pro­gramme. It’s an ex­cuse to get re­ally dressed up and have a lot of fun with that. That’s the show I’ve al­ways en­joyed watch­ing the most. That could be my aim. I’d be very happy if I can get that far.

Easten­ders stars and Strictly have quite a long-stand­ing con­nec­tion. Have you been given any ad­vice from pre­vi­ous con­tes­tants?

Yes. Luck­ily enough, I know a lot of peo­ple from Easten­ders who’ve done Strictly be­fore. Tameka Emp­son, who ap­peared in last year’s show, said, ‘Once you go out, you own that. That’s yours, that’s your mo­ment, so just go for it. Don’t hold back!’ That’s re­ally good ad­vice be­cause it’s easy to hold back, I think.

What have your other En­ders co-stars said about the show?

My other Easten­ders’ col­leagues who’ve done Strictly – Kel­lie Bright, Scott Maslen and Jake Wood – have noth­ing but good things to say about their ex­pe­ri­ence. They’re so ex­cited for me and I re­alise I’m in for a re­ally fun ride.

So are you car­ry­ing on with the day job at Easten­ders while you do Strictly Come Danc­ing?

Yes – just like my work­mates did. Both shows are filmed at El­stree and they’re just down the road from each other, so that won’t re­ally be a prob­lem. Chal­leng­ing, yes, but I’m hav­ing the time of my life!

Kush stripped on Easten­ders in 2014 as part of a char­ity cal­en­dar sto­ry­line Dance part­ner Nadiya By­chkova is one of three new pros on Strictly this year Tameka Emp­son has given Davood ad­vice after com­pet­ing last year

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