Belfast Telegraph

Goodman unfazed by celeb calibre

Len Goodman has defended the celebrity line-up for this year's Strictly Come Dancing, saying he doesn't think it's a problem if people haven't heard of the contestants beforehand.

The BBC show's head judge admitted he was never sure who any of the soap stars were, but was only interested in their dancing once they joined the competition.

He told What's On TV: "It's a terrific line-up. I know some people say they don't know the celebrities, but celebrity is peculiar - nobody would know me if they didn't watch Strictly and if you didn't watch Mrs Brown's Boys you wouldn't know who Jennifer (Gibney) was or if you don't watch Bargain Hunt you might not know who Tim Wonnacott was.

"I don't watch the soaps so I'm never good on people from EastEnders or Casualty, so I never really know who those people are. But I don't think it matters because you get to know the celebrities while they're doing the show. I'm really looking forward to it."

Len gave his tips on the ones to watch, saying: "I've not seen any of them dance yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing Tim Wonnacott because I watch Bargain Hunt and also MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.

"It will be especially good seeing Gregg getting a touch of his own medicine from Craig because Craig did Celebrity MasterChef and got criticised quite often from Gregg. It'll really give Craig a good chance to get his own back.

"But you expect anybody young and fit to be very good, Pixie Lott or some of the other youngsters will be ones to look out for."

He also called Judy Murray a "dark horse", and added that Thom Evans and Simon Webbe could do well.

Strictly Come Dancing's live shows begin tomorrow (September 26) on BBC One.

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