Belfast Telegraph

Bruce: D-Listers pull down Strictly

Sir Bruce Forsyth has blamed a poor calibre of celebrity contestants for previous low ratings for Strictly Come Dancing.

The 85-year-old entertainer has been hosting the BBC dance contest since it began 11 years ago, and told the Metro newspaper the show relies on having big star names.

Bruce said: "If you haven't got good celebrities as we did have for a couple of years... we did go down and it showed.

"The last couple of years that has been revived and we do get interesting people and in the last [series] we got six couples that were worthy of winning."

He added: "I think last year was the biggest year we had. It will always rely on the celebrities."

This year's line-up is thought to include rugby player Ben Cohen, former Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede, Dragons Den star Deborah Meaden, WAG Abbey Clancy and Vanessa Feltz.

Strictly is moving to a new and bigger studio this year.

Bruce said: "We are going to a new studio. We've always been in a studio that is far too slow and small for the entertainment that we need to get over.

"When we started ten years ago we had an audience of about 100 on tables and chairs. It was weird, like a sunny restaurant, it had no excitement.

"It should never be in a place that holds less than 3,000 people."

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