Joe Sugg: My Strictly turn has encouraged other young men to dance
Joe Sugg has said taking part in Strictly has encouraged other young men to take up dancing.
The YouTube star, 27, said taking part in the BBC One show has given him a huge new platform and he is now more likely to be stopped in the street by older fans than younger ones.
He said: “I have a large online following but in the grand scheme of things it’s still so unknown.
“It’s big in its own sense, in its own pocket of entertainment, but to the more traditional media it’s such an unusual thing so when I was announced to be on the show I think I got one of the most controversial reactions from the general public, a lot of ‘Who? Never heard of him!'”
He added: “I just thought I would give it a chance and see what happens and it’s a whole new audience and it’s gone down an absolute storm and nowadays I think I get stopped more out and about by the older generation, people that have known me from Strictly rather than from YouTube and stuff, it’s been so nice.
“But on the other side of things I’ve had so many positive messages from my own audience that have followed me into this especially from younger guys,
“Even when I was younger at school, we didn’t do dance, if you were a boy you just didn’t do dance.
“It was an option but no-one took it, it was all just sport or not dance.
“But I have had so many messages from younger guys saying ‘I would never normally think about doing dance but from watching you on Strictly I can see you’re having so much fun and you’ve actually made it cool’.
“I’m not cool but somehow for them I’ve made it more acceptable and they said ‘I’ve started going to dance classes with my girlfriend’ or with their friend.
“That for me is one of the best things about doing the show, the effect it’s having on a younger generation and hopefully getting them into dance.”
Sugg said taking part in the show has given him the confidence to believe he could have a career in performing, adding: “I went into this in my head thinking ‘Cool, we are going to do this and then go back to doing YouTube’, which is still what I love doing and the reason why I had this opportunity in the first place.
“Going down the stairs the first time and performing on that stage, it is terrifying, but I felt this show has slowly improved my confidence in performing so I think now I’m much more open to the idea of doing this performance-wise.”
The Strictly Come Dancing final is on BBC One at 6.30pm.