STRICTLY SPECIAL WONDERFUL SUSAN IS SUPER HEROIC
Actor insists staying on show will be the best gift as fellow Scot stuns with superheroic moves
Strictly star Joe McFadden is hoping for a birthday bonus tomorrow – still being in Strictly.
If he survives tonight’s results show, the actor will be shunning celebrations for another punishing
rehearsal with pro partner Katya Jones. Joe said: “I’m going to be 42 on Monday and I’m really hoping I’ll have something to celebrate.
“The best present would be to get to keep dancing on Monday morning. I love being involved.
“It’s great to be able to learn to dance and at my age it wasn’t going to happen any other way.”
Meanwhile, the Holby City star says tips from last year’s winner Ore Oduba and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls are boosting his chances on the hit BBC show.
Glasgow-born Joe has had training-room visits from both as he tries to perfect his dancefloor moves. Ed was paired with Katya last year, while champ Ore
reprised his winning routine on the opening show.
“Katya invited Ed along and it was useful to have him there and get his insight,” said Joe. “He told me about using the energy of the audience.
“He warned me not to get thrown by it all because it is overwhelming with the lights, cameras and music.
“He did so well by really throwing himself into it. You have to dive in with both feet and not be reticent.
“Ore said that it’s over before you know it and you don’t want to get to the end and find you forgot to enjoy it because you’re so worried about the steps.
“It’s a trap to freak out and worry too much about being perfect. I don’t think people want it to be perfect, they want a bit of jeopardy and that’s what I’m trying to supply.”
Last night was Movie Week on the show with Joe and Katya dancing a Viennese Waltz to Somewhere My Love – Lara’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago.
Glasgow comedian Susan Calman was one of the fun highlights as she did a Samba to the theme from the Wonder Woman TV show, dressed in the superhero costume. And Joe admitted he was thrilled at how Susan had won over fans.
“She’s a really cool girl. I’ve enjoyed her comedy for years and seeing her on panel shows like Have I Got News For You? so it’s been great to meet her.
“It’s nice to have a fellow Scot in the mix.” Joe stormed up the leaderboard in week one with his jive getting huge praise. But he dropped back last week with the judges saying he could do much better.
Joe has no complaints about the criticism, admitting the tango really wasn’t his dance.
But he’s been so desperate to do well that he’s been fitting in extra practice sessions on the set of Holby. It’s also filmed at the home of Strictly, Elstree Studios, making it easy for Katya to cram in every last minute of rehearsals.
“We’ve been running through the routine between scenes,” said Joe, who dismissed any talk of there being a romantic ‘Strictly curse’. “Whenever there’s been a break we’ve been dancing around the wards in my medical scrubs.”
Joe’s been dancing for up to nine hours a day and, minor hip and shoulder injuries aside, it has left him fitter than ever before.
He’s been burning so many calories, though, he’s been cramming in food as much as dances. “I’ve tried to be healthy with protein shakes but I do like a roll and sausage.”
The first elimination last week of former Holby pal, Chizzy Akudolu, hit Joe hard.
“It’s been a different place without her. She was so upset, bless her,” added Joe. “Hopefully it’ll get easier to lose people as the weeks go on.”
Dynamic duo? Wonder Woman Susan Calman and pro partner Kevin Clifton on last night’s show