Strictly: Anton says he 'loved' Greg and Karen's dance

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TV personality and former politician Jacqui Smith received an email offering her a place in Strictly Come Dancing in March 2020, but didn’t believe what she was reading. The 58-year-old soon realised that it was not a “fake email” and accepted the offer, as she wanted to embark on a new challenge following the breakdown of her marriage.

“I thought I had missed my chance to do Strictly, so when they came to me at the end of March 2020 and said, ‘Would you consider it?’ I thought it was a fake email.

“But I came to realise it was a serious option,” she told this week’s Radio Times.

The former Home Secretary announced she was separating from her husband Richard Timney in January 2020, after almost 33 years of marriage.

The former couple share two sons.

Jacqui said that she wanted to throw everything into her stint in Strictly, claiming she knew that it could be a short-lived experience.

She was partnered with Anton Du Beke however they were the first couple to be voted off in series 18.

They performed a Foxtrot in week one to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python and a Samba to Help Yourself by Tom Jones in week two.

The latter earned them just 12 points from the three judges before their elimination.

Jacqui went on to say that she was “delighted” that her former partner is now a judge.

After 17 years on the dance floor, professional dancer Anton landed a spot on the judging panel alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas.

The mum-of-two went on to describe the 55-year-old as a “national treasure”.

She said she was glad that he didn’t have a partner in this year’s series to spark any jealousy.

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During the first live show on Saturday night, Anton said that if any dance was to make him feel nostalgic for the dance floor then it would be Greg Wise and Karen Hauer’s American Smooth to That’s Life by Frank Sinatra.

From his podium, Anton said: “This is the number that will make me miss not dancing on the floor.

“Hat, cane, tail suit, American Smooth… you beauty. I’d give you 45 points on my own if I could.”

Following their turn on the dance floor, Jacqui took to social media while reminiscing about her time on the show.

“Such happy memories of @TheAntonDuBeke drilling me with my hat and cane in first week @bbcstrictly 2020,” she tweeted in view of her 32,700 followers.

“You have lined yourself up for an absolute world of innuendo,” Twitter user CornwallAdamD quickly pointed out.

“You may want to think that one through!” user charlesTdale added sharing a similar thought.

Her post was immediately followed by: “Er… what I meant to say was @TheAntonDuBeke and I had some serious hat and cane action in week 1 last year. Is that better?”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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