Belfast Telegraph

Holby's Joe McFadden is Strictly’s oldest winner at 42

By Catherine Wyatt

Strictly Come Dancing champion Joe McFadden has said it would be a "shame" if he did not continue to dance after winning this year's show.

The Holby City star became the oldest winner in Strictly history on Saturday night when he lifted the glitterball trophy aged 42.

His Holby character Raf di Lucca dramatically died earlier in the month, leaving McFadden free to pursue his interest in theatre.

When asked if he was now unemployed, the actor said: "I am ... I'm very optimistic about the future, things are looking up.

"I'm feeling really good and looking forward to having a really good rest over Christmas.

"I'm going to lie in a dark room for about a week and sleep."

And when the idea of a West End role was floated, McFadden added: "I have no idea. It would be lovely to put all the dancing into practice, it would be a shame to let all of that [go]."

The Holby City star and partner Katya Jones came out top of a public vote in the BBC final after 13 weeks of competition.

McFadden beat off competition from fellow finalists Alexandra Burke, Debbie McGee and Gemma Atkinson to claim the glitterball trophy.

His three performances on Saturday night - a Charleston, a showdance and a Viennese waltz - scored a combined 118 out of a possible 120 points.

Moments after being announced as the winner, McFadden said: "It feels utterly, utterly amazing and yeah, I really can't find the words. It's just been brilliant, the whole experience has been brilliant."

McFadden's partner Jones praised the star's talent, saying: "He has so much potential, give me more time with him, he'll become a pro!"

Jones, who partnered Ed Balls last year for her first series as a Strictly professional, was often complimented by the judges for her creative choreography.

McFadden said: "The routines have consistently been brilliant and she's such an amazing artist and dancer. Just being in the training room with you every day was such a joy.

"I mean, it was hard work, but it was a joy and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

"No one said it was going to be easy."

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