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…
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