Entertainment

Helen Skelton says biggest compliment ever is Strictly team ‘buzzing for us’

The Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter, 39,
The Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter, 39, The Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter, 39,

Helen Skelton said the “biggest compliment ever” in Strictly Come Dancing has been the dancers and team at the BBC show “buzzing” for her and professional partner Gorka Marquez.

The Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter, 39, also said other women have been inspired to start dancing because of her performances on the celebrity competition.

She did well during last week’s Blackpool episode, coming second to Fleur East, for her quickstep to Valerie by Amy Winehouse, and received a lot of praise from the judges.


The routine, performed at the prestigious Tower Ballroom, gave a nod to Grease as the presenter dressed in a pink and black petticoat dress and the professional dancer donned a leather jacket.

Skelton was asked about her previous experience setting a Guinness World Record and how that compares to heading towards the Strictly Come Dancing final.

She replied: “I think is a very similar process…It was always about pushing myself and challenging myself and making myself uncomfortable.

“The nice thing about this is it’s a team, when I was in Antarctica, I was on my own.

“(Me and Gorka have) said a million times it was great to get nice to these comments.

“It was amazing that the crowd was so happy but what was great was the other dancers and the other people in the show (who) were absolutely buzzing for us.

“That is the biggest compliment ever.”

In 2012, Skelton was the first person to use a bike to get to the South Pole.

During the 500-miles (800km) trip, she used an ice bike along with skis for her luggage in a bid to get funds for Sport Relief.

In 2010, Skelton broke a Guinness World Record on a trip in the Amazon where she took the longest solo journey by kayak.

Skelton also said: “I’ve had so many women of my age message me and say, ‘Oh, I’m going to start, I’m going to try dancing now’.”

Marquez said: “I think being on the show and be dancing every week and… performing in front of everybody is just a privilege, and I think (Helen is) grateful to be doing that and (to) be able to share her journey with everybody like we said, ‘if we inspired people in what we do it’s amazing’.

“She’s just having a good time and enjoying the experience.”

Skelton has presented rural and animal shows including Countryfile, Live: Summer On The Farm, This Week On The Farm and Big Week At The Zoo.

She said: “The amount of the dancers that say ‘can we come to the farm’ and (I say) ‘of course you can’.”

Marquez joked, “We are going to do Strictly Come Farming…We are (going to be) dancing with the farmers and the cows and the sheep.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC One.