OUR SATURDAY NIGHT FAVOURITES Darcey’s Strictly back dancing Judge quit TV for stage return with Lloyd Webber
CENTRE STAGE Darcey on Strictly BALLET GREAT Darcey performs in 1992
The 49-year-old ballet legend left the hit BBC show last week, citing plans “to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance”.
And the Sunday
Mirror can reveal that those commitments include a collaboration with musical maestro
Andrew, 71. The pair met at his horse racing grounds, Watership Down Stud in Newbury, where the composer outlined his plans.
A source said: “Andrew has had his eye on Darcey for a while and is hoping to use her in one of his new stage shows.
“Andrew and Darcey have been friends for years and recently he has been asking her to look at perhaps working with him on one of his new productions. Darcey is over the moon.”
The source added: “Darcey left Strictly as she missed being on stage. She absolutely loved judging the acts but she has been a prima ballerina all her life. Strictly was great fun, but not a serious part of her career.”
Andrew has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores and a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade, both in the West End and on Broadway.
Dame Darcey became a principal dancer aged 20 at the Royal Ballet in 1989. After becoming widely acclaimed as one of the greatest British ballerinas, she retired in 2007. Her big TV break came in 2012 when she replaced Alesha Dixon on Strictly, having impressed as a guest judge in 2009 when she did the jive with pro dancer Ian Waite in the semi-final.
In a statement last week, Darcey said: “It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such
CONTENDERS a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone, from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team and especially the viewers of the show.
“I am not leaving because of any upsets at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance.
“I know I will miss being part of this unique show. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.”
Fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood, 54, rubbished rumours that her decision was prompted by a row over pay, fallouts with other judges or issues with how the Strictly curse was taking over the show.
He said: “She’s done seven years and she loves it and she has had a great time. It’s going to be really sad seeing her go, obviously, because I love sitting next to her and I don’t know who’s going to take her place – no idea.”
Meanwhile, TV chef Rosemary Shrager is set to sign up for the next series.
The Ladette to Lady star, 68, is no stranger to reality shows, appearing in I’m A Celebrity in 2012.
A source close to her says she’s been boasting about being approached, but is also moaning that the pay is dismal.
Bosses are also keen to get a footballer on board and have their eyes on newly single Danny Murphy, 42.
The Match of the Day pundit and former England star split from Hollyoaks actress Joanna Taylor, mum of his two children, last year.
Sources say footballer-turned-Homes Under the Hammer presenter Dion Dublin, 49, and football pundit Jermaine Jenas, 36, are also in the frame.