Belfast Telegraph

Sophie: Strictly not competitive

Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her dancing partner Brendan Cole have said that there's no competitiveness in Strictly Come Dancing at the moment.

The pair were selling poppies in London's Covent Garden for the Royal British Legion when they said all of this year's contestants are very supportive of each other.

Asked whether she saw Abbey Clancy as stiff competition, Sophie said: "It's not a competition at all, we're sickeningly supportive of each other."

Brendan agreed: "At this stage, it's all fun and games. It only really becomes a bit of a competition the last couple of weeks when it really does come down to the nitty gritty.

"But for now, we're concentrating on one week at a time and trying to get the best out of each week, because we've got a lot of people supporting us and you want to do them justice and you want to do yourselves justice."

Darcey Bussell, also pitching in to sell poppies, agreed the standard of dancers was close so far.

She said: "I can't say who's going to get through to that final, it's going to be quite close. There's a lot of people that are quite surprising and I think we're going to go through a lot of changes, actually, even with the couple of weeks we've got left."

The former ballerina revealed her fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood had softened a bit since having an operation on his hip.

She said: "I think he's softened up with the pain he's going through with his hip, but I think he's a bit more sensitive to what those professional dancers and the celebrities are going through."

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