'It's all a bit pantomime, isn't it?' - Crawley's Strictly Come Dancing star Dan Walker on what it is like to face the judges on a Saturday night

Dan Walker says he loves it when the Strictly Come Dancing judges 'have a pop' on a Saturday night.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 12:00 pm

Crawley-born Dan and his partner Nadiya Bychkova will be doing a Cha Cha Cha to MC Hammer's You Can't Touch this Saturday as part of a disco-themed week. The dancing duo were at Three Bridges Primary School - Dan's first schoool - on Thursday getting into the school disco spirit, dancing with some of the children for the Strictly cameras.

On the launch show, judge Craig Revel Horwood said the Cha Cha Cha was a dance that 'might not be right' for Dan.

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Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova are preparing for a Cha Cha Cha this week. Picture courtesy of the BBC

But the 44-year-old BBC Breakfast presenter is not listening to anyone other than his partner Nadiya and actually enjoys standing in front of Craig, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke after doing a live dance. See Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova's message to Crawley Observer readers here

He said: "It’s all a bit pantomime isn't it.

"It’s a TV show and I think sometimes people take it a bit too seriously. They either worry about what they [the judges] said or get agitated by someone giving one dance five and another a six.

"That is the brilliant thing about the programme, people care about it. I always love working on shows where you are invested, you want a couple to do well, you want your favourite dance to be danced well and you want the judges to appreciate them.

Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova. Picture courtesy of the BBC

"But that’s why people watch and that’s why people vote and that’s the magic of Strictly. I never expect to get lovely comments across the board but I love it when they have a bit of a pop. That’s part of the programme."

So how is training going for this week's Cha Cha Cha.

Dan said: "Have you done the Cha Cha Cha? Deary me!

"There’s 10 or 12 things you have to be mindful of in your head while trying to remember to put your arm here and what angle to put it at and where your fingers need to be while your hips, your knees, your feet, your bendy, your head, your chest, are doing other things.

"I am in awe of how they manage to do it as pros and just to be able to to do a tiny bit of that and get the routine right and put a few smiles on their faces with MC Hammer. I genuinely can't wait.

"I am not worried or stressed about it, I just want to have fun with it."

Dan added: "Craig said right at the start Cha Cha Cha might not be the one for me or you might struggle in Latin. Everyone keeps telling me that but the only one I listen to is Nadiya.

"I think that’s important, she knows what I am like, she knows how my brain works and what my body is capable of and I think she is filling me with confidence which I have never had on the dance floor.

"I do feel a bit tall and awkward but she wants me to use my height and width to embrace it.

"I like performing , being on camera and being on telly and I know the dancing thing is important but all me do each week is we build up for 90 seconds and that is the job. Can you do it on a Saturday ight in front of millions of people? I love that challenge."