Entertainment

Faye Tozer: I've been knocking on Strictly's door for years

The Steps singer was among the stars attending the Strictly launch at the BBC.

Steps star Faye Tozer has said she was “knocking on Strictly’s door for years” and is thrilled to finally get on the BBC show.

The singer, 42, is among the line-up on the 2018 series.

Speaking at the launch in London, she told the Press Association: “I feel over the moon that they have let me come in.

“It’s incredible. It’s just like the most amazing journey that you could imagine if you are in the business.

“So for me it’s all the dresses, the costumes, the themes, getting to dance with a partner, learning a new skill. It’s just a beautiful show to be on.”

Charles Venn and Faye Tozer at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing
Charles Venn and Faye Tozer at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing (Ian West/PA)

The event at the BBC was attended by this year’s crop of contestants, judges Bruno Tonioli, Shirley Ballas, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel-Horwood, presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and the professional dancers.

Former cricketer Graeme Swann said he was more nervous at the launch than any day of his life, other than his wedding day.

He was also feeling some nerves about getting primped and preened for the dance floor.

“The thought of losing my chest hair to wax is frightening the life out of me,” he said.

“I won’t like it. It will kill me!”

Graeme Swann at the Strictly launch
Graeme Swann (Ian West/PA)

Blue star Lee Ryan said he leapt at the chance to take part, but being on such a huge television show was “daunting”.

“I was a bit worried,” he said. “It is such a big show and you know there is going to be a lot of media attention.

“It is the biggest show on TV so it can be a bit daunting.”

Lee Ryan and Susannah Constantine at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing
Lee Ryan and Susannah Constantine at the launch (Ian West/PA)

The singer said he was not concerned about the judges’ critiques as he is good at taking constructive criticism.

“I’m quite competitive as well so I will want to improve,” he said.

Fashion guru Susannah Constantine said the launch show left her feeling “a bit overwhelmed” but she was “so excited” to be there.

She said she really wanted to learn to dance but was “like an ironing board”.

“I am stiff, unrelaxed, I’m terrible,” she said.

She added that the hardest thing for her would be learning “to let go of my inhibitions and to just fly”.

The other celebrities taking part include actor actor Charles Venn, singer Ashley Roberts, newsreader Kate Silverton, comedian Seann Walsh, documentary presenter Stacey Dooley, This Morning’s Dr Ranj Singh and TV presenter Katie Piper.

Completing the line-up are Red Dwarf actor Danny John-Jules, Paralympian Lauren Steadman, YouTube star Joe Sugg and DJ Vick Hope.

Vick Hope at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing
Vick Hope at the launch (Ian West/PA)

Some critics have suggested it is not the strongest year, with a lack of big-name stars.

However, Revel Horwood defended this year’s crop as as a “great” line-up.

He said he thought the show would “eventually” see same-sex couples competing.

“I think more and more people want it, the more it will happen,” he said.

“I have no argument against it. I think it would be rather fun. Maybe the BBC will be brave enough one day to do it.”

Craig Revel-Horwood (left), Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing
Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli (Ian West/PA)

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will kick off on September 8.

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