TV star Gok Wan has spoken of his excitement at being the lead judge for Strictly Come Prancing in Dundee.
Contestants will don their glittery gowns and sparkly shoes for the city’s first-ever Strictly Come Prancing on Saturday November 17 at the Apex Hotel.
There will be 11 couples hoping to wow Gok and three other expert judges – ballet teacher Connor Harvey, dance manager Alexandra Hare and choreographer Kezia Miskell-Reid.
We met the fabulous foursome:
The fashionista, presenter and author shot to fame as the host of Channel 4’s How to Look Good Naked, and since then has written books and fronted several shows on fashion and cooking, as well as documentaries looking at obesity, mental health and homophobia.
At the Apex Hotel on November 17, he will act as head judge before getting behind the decks for a DJ set at the end of the night.
Asked what he was most looking forward to, Gok said: “I can’t wait to see all the acts and the variety of talent on display, it’s going to be a really fun and entertaining night.
“I will be a fair judge and we will have lots of laughs.
“I love Strictly Come Dancing and have had a few friends who have been in the show, so I have been down at the studio supporting them, and you can’t beat that live experience where anything can happen.
“Its always a fun night and the first of its kind in Dundee – with the numbers we have I know it will be an amazing experience for everyone!”
Conner Harvey has been dancing since she was three and is a qualified ballet teacher having graduated from the British Ballet Organisation in London.
Conner, 27, said: “I want all the couples to try their best and give it their all, just show us what they have got. They have put a lot of hard work into this.
“I love dancing and I love working with Hannah and Stacey at Help for Kids and supporting them with their events to raise money for local children.
“I will be looking for how the couple moves together and how they tell a story.
“I have always loved the theatrical side of dancing and so I will be looking for that aspect in a performance. I want to be entertained and I’d like to see a great jive.
“I am very excited about being on the judging panel and feeling a little nervous too, but I am really looking forward to the night – with so many tickets sold it’s going to be an amazing night.
“Help For Kids is an incredible charity, they are all about the children in our communities, in our city. Being able to support them in ways they really need it most, to help improve their situation and life, is what it’s all about.
“What I absolutely love about Strictly is that even people with two left feet manage to get a good 30 seconds out of dance.
“In the words of Craig Revel Horwood, I’m sure most of the couples will be FAB-U-LOUS!”
Alexandra Hare, dance manager for Leisure and Culture Dundee, is trained in ballet and contemporary dance. She said: “I was thrilled to be asked to be a judge.
“I’m trying to be the nice judge and looking at their posture and overall performance. I’d like to be the Darcey Bussell. She’s my favourite. I’m a big Strictly fan.
“I am really looking forward to the whole thing and just thrilled to be asked to be a part of it.
“I know that all the couples and their instructors from Leisure and Culture Dundee’s Urban Moves Dance Company have been working extremely hard to ensure they are ready for the big event. We have been working with the dancers not just on the dance skills, but on their confidence and self-esteem, so seeing that grow in the rehearsal process is great to see.
“The dancers are very brave to get involved in such a challenge but I know when they get on to that dancefloor they will not want to get off.
“As well as my dance manager position, I am still an active performer and know the daunting feeling of pre-performance nerves, but the feeling and adrenalin rush you get when you’re out on that dance floor is electric and I know they will all have an absolute ball performing to a packed audience.”
Kezia Miskell-Reid, a beauty therapist with a background in choreography, said: “I’m excited to be a judge.
“I can’t wait to see what the contestants bring in terms of their dance, because these are not professional dancers but they are all going out there still.
“I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
“I think what I really want to see is them having fun with it. They are going to be entertaining a lot of people that night, although it is a competition and somebody is going to have to win it.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s the biggest event in Dundee this year.
“I know they are going to raise a ton of money.
“We’ve supported Help for Kids for years. They do a lot of good work.
“There is a real buzz about the event and I am totally thrilled to be asked to be involved.
“It is going to be a great night.”