TV comic Ellie Taylor: I was ‘absolutely spoiled’ on Strictly Come Dancing

Actor and comedy star Ellie Taylor has teamed up with Alpro on a brekkie campaign (Karla Gowlett/PA)
Actor and comedy star Ellie Taylor has teamed up with Alpro on a brekkie campaign (Karla Gowlett/PA) Actor and comedy star Ellie Taylor has teamed up with Alpro on a brekkie campaign (Karla Gowlett/PA)

Ellie Taylor says she hasn’t kept up dancing since appearing on Strictly Come Dancing – because nothing could “top dancing with a professional every day”.

The comedy star and actor, who made it to week 10 in last year’s series of the popular BBC One show – which has just returned to screens with a fresh line-up of celebrities hoping to samba and swing their way to the famous glitterball trophy – admitted she was “absolutely spoiled” by the experience.

When asked if she’d kept up dancing since taking part, Taylor, who was partnered with Strictly professional Johannes Radebe, told the PA news agency: “God no! Apart from me and the kid in the living room,” said the 39-year-old, who has a five-year-old daughter, Valentina, with her husband, CNN reporter Phil Black.

“Absolutely not. I just think, how can you ever top it, dancing with a professional dancer every day?

“I just don’t think I’m going get the same thing from a lovely local teacher in a community centre on a Thursday evening for 90 minutes,” she added, laughing. “I’ve been absolute spoiled with my dancing experience, so I think I’ll leave it in the past and remember it very fondly. And occasionally see if I can still remember how to do a ballroom hold.”

Essex-born Taylor – who recently revealed on Instagram that she’s pregnant again – is best known for roles in Ted Lasso and Plebs, as well as regular appearances on the likes of Mock The Week, Cheat and Bake Off: The Professionals. She’s also the author of 2021 Sunday Times bestseller My Child And Other Mistake, and a seasoned stand-up.

One of her next projects is Knuckles, a Sonic The Hedgehog movie spinoff, reportedly due out on Paramount+ next year.

“It’s very unlike anything I’ve ever done before – I get to play a baddie and do stunts,” said Taylor, who will also have a stunt double for the riskier scenes.

“I’m really excited about my daughter seeing that actually. Nothing I’ve done – apart from Strictly, she liked watching that – but apart from that, there’s not been much else that she’s been able to understand and see. So I’m looking forward to it.”

She recently teamed up with Alpro on a campaign encouraging people to switch up their breakfast routines.

In a survey by the brand, a fifth (18%) of the 2,000 adults polled said they regularly get off to the “wrong start” each morning. In addition, 28% said oversleeping sets them off on the wrong foot, while 26% cite rushing around as the issue. Almost half (44%) said they would like to switch up their morning routine, with respondents eating the same breakfast an average four days a week. Yet, the majority (71%) agreed having a good morning sets them up to be the “best version of themselves” for the day.

For Taylor, following a routine has taken on new meaning since having a child – because “they run a bit like clockwork”. But she knows the difference getting your day off to a solid start can make, having recently made a conscious effort not to grab her phone and start scrolling first thing.

“My morning routine is: a child will sort of stroke whatever limb they find sticking out of my bed, like a serial killer,” Taylor joked. “Then we’ll go downstairs and scoff some breakfast, and I will try and not doom scroll.

“I’ve been trying to read a book instead of going on my phone lately, which itself feels very wholesome, doesn’t it? And occasionally I’m even managing it. I do find it really does make a difference, to just be a bit more mindful about what I’m consuming.”

Acknowledging our relationships with our phones can be “so impactful”, when it comes to mindless scrolling, she added: “It’s just so easily done – like sometimes I’m reaching for [my phone] before I’ve even got out of bed, before I’ve gone to the loo, and that’s ridiculous.

“I know for me how important it is to have something that puts me in like a good headspace for the rest of the day, and that’s not only what I consume in my mouth, but what I consume online with my eyes. It can really change how I feel for the rest of the day.”

Taylor noted that life doesn’t always go exactly to plan, however.

“Life is always going to get in the way sometimes,” she said. “There’s absolutely days where a leisurely morning routine goes out the window, because I’ve got to be up and out, on a train or in a car before I’ve barely opened my eyes, and then you don’t get really a chance to indulge in sort of mindfulness, do you?

“It’s just – do what you can, when you can, rather than trying to be perfect all the time. If you can do it a couple of times a week at least, that’s something to aim for…

“And you do just feel better,” Taylor added. “Like if I can fit in a bit of exercise as well in the morning, I find again, that always again puts me in a in a good frame of mind.”

Squeezing in as much laughter as possible also helps.

“Especially since having a child, I’ve found that if me and my husband can find a light among the sometimes trying circumstances, it does see you through. I think trying to find the brevity is always key,” said Taylor.

“And I’ll do anything to make my child laugh, I’m such a clown, I’m like her personal jester. She gets to have dinner and a show. I love hearing her laugh, and there’s nothing better than all of us having a laugh at something together, especially when half the time she doesn’t even understand what she’s laughing about. But she likes joining in with the gang, and I love that.”

Ellie Taylor is working with Alpro, the plant-based pioneer, to encourage Brits to switch up their breakfast routines to help them be the best versions of themselves all day.