Strictly Blackpool Week – tiny rooms, magic floor and secretly nice Craig

Simon Webbe has opened up about his time on Strictly Come Dancing, ahead of this year’s contestants performing at dance mecca, Blackpool.

The pop star took part in the HIT BBC show back in 2004 and was partnered with Kristina Rihanoff – the pair took the competition by storm and finished as runners-up.

This Saturday this year’s hopefuls will compete in the venerated Blackpool Tower Ballroom, which first opened in 1899. It is famous worldwide for ballroom dancing and high-profile competitions are often held there.

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In Simon’s day, he famously performed a spine-tingling Argentine Tango to Roxanne and smashed a score of 38, with three 10s.

But despite the “glitz and glamour” of Blackpool, Simon, 44, revealed that backstage, things were a bit more…modest.

He exclusively told the Daily Star: “The dressing rooms are really tiny in Blackpool. You put the key in the door and nearly break the window – that’s how small it is!”

Simon also spoke about the magic of the dancefloor, saying: “The dancers say it’s more about the floor because it’s on springs.

“When we danced in the studio, it’s on a platform… but the Blackpool dance floor is on springs.

“It’s the most professional dance floor you can dance on in the UK.

“There’s a lot of history there too and I got to do my Argentine Tango there too, it was amazing.”

Simon also said that bad guy Craig Revel Horwood isn’t as nasty as he seems, adding: “When I was on tour, I got to know Craig and he’s really a big softie.”

Simon later confessed that it feels like just a few years ago that he was battling it out for the highly sought-after Glitterball trophy.

He admitted: “When people say that to me it only feels like a couple of years ago but it’s been eight years.

“It’s had that massive impact on me in a sense of how physically demanding it was, the pressures of performing every Saturday and waiting for the votes to come through and you’re in the bottom three.”

Simon went on to add that his favourite style of dance on the hugely popular BBC show was ballroom, but is unfortunately unable to perform it today.

He added: “I was obsessed with ballroom where you have to keep that frame and keep your arm up high, I can’t do that now – I've got something going on with my shoulders.

The TV star added: “I've gotten fat, got that dad bod now”.

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