He took a 5-minute break from cracking jokes (sort of) to tell us a bit more about his dancing skills and the inner workings of the popular reality show.
How did you land your spot as co-host of Strictly Come Dancing?About three months ago I got a call from the production company Rapid Blue, enquiring about my availability, not telling me it was for Strictly. A month later they called back to offer me the job. I did the rumba in my lounge for about two hours!
What has it been like working with Pabi?She’s simply phenomenal. Pabi can do this job with her eyes closed, and I pray that all of that smooth, slick stuff rubs off on me.
So, are you a good dancer?Everyone’s a good dancer at some point over the weekend, after a couple of shooters!
If you were a dancer, which style would be your favourite?
And which dance style are you most looking forward to seeing the couples perform?
I’m always entertained by the drama of the paso doble. I live for those moments when the dancers look “passionately cross”! Love that look!
Which dance couple on the show do you see as a force to be reckoned with?
It’s early days. And I’m not going to mention names here because I like to be everybody’s best friend. But judging by what people are saying to me on the street, the winning couple is most definitely going to be a guy and a girl.
Are there any behind-the-scenes funny moments you’d be willing to share?
Kuli Roberts makes for riveting entertainment and does not stop talking for a second. (Of course one cannot repeat what she says). Zakeeya Patel flirts with me outrageously and Graeme Richards is super-serious about winning this thing.
All your shows are live – which must make it all the more nerve-wracking for the celebs. Is it tense on set before you go on air?
I think everyone’s helluva nervous (presenters included) just before we go to air, and so we talk about everything under the sun except being nervous. It’s a frantic, fabulous energy.
Speaking of live shows ? as a host, do you prefer presenting on live TV or on a pre-recorded show?
A pre-recorded show is obviously cool in that you can redo and edit stuff until it’s near-perfect. But there’s something about a live show that makes the shoot so much more exciting. The viewer is privy to the moment, warts and all. I like that. I like living close to the edge.
What other projects do you have lined up in the coming months?I return to Cape Town to be part of a festive season play at the Baxter Theatre, which will run into 2014.