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Strictly star Ore Oduba set to embrace his wild side in The Rocky Horror Show

The actor, presenter and glitterball champ will be donning his fishnets in the iconic rock’n’roll musical at the Grand Opera House.

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Ore Oduba stars as Brad with Haley Flaherty as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show

Ore Oduba stars as Brad with Haley Flaherty as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show

Ore Oduba in fishnets for The Rocky Horror Show

Ore Oduba in fishnets for The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show sees Ore Oduba in pants for most of the production

The Rocky Horror Show sees Ore Oduba in pants for most of the production

Ore Oduba and his wife, Portia, 2017

Ore Oduba and his wife, Portia, 2017

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 winners Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 winners Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton

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Ore Oduba stars as Brad with Haley Flaherty as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show

Strictly Come Dancing star Ore Oduba accepted his role in The Rocky Horror Show — which heads to Belfast’s Grand Opera House this week — despite never having seen the iconic show.

The 36-year-old told Sunday Life he watched the 1975 Rocky Horror Picture Show film, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meat Loaf, after landing the role in the production, which features classic songs including ‘Sweet Transvestite’ and ‘Time Warp’.

He admitted: “No, I hadn’t really seen it. I knew of the show and I knew of the Time Warp. It’s so iconic. Hearing that intro in rehearsal, I think, ‘I am actually getting paid to sing this.’ It’s not just a school disco version. It was pretty staggering. And then I watched the film and I was like, ‘OK, that’s what I’ve signed up to.’

“I’m so glad I did because I think if the lockdown hadn’t happened I might not have taken the role at all. I might have thought, ‘That’s not really for me.’ But it’s given me a change of perspective. I wanted to do something where I could laugh and have fun.”

The actor and presenter, who lifted the Strictly glitterball trophy in 2016 with dance partner Joanne Clifton, has a big fan at home: his wife, Portia, is a Rocky Horror Show fanatic.

He explained: “Portia has been obsessed with Rocky for decades. Her mum and dad grew up on it. She was probably the one who said, ‘You have to do this show.’ Because I was going, ‘Is it the right thing?’ She said, ‘The very idea of dancing about in your pants every night is hilarious. You have to do it.’

“She came to see it in the first weeks and said, ‘It’s everything I remembered. It’s amazing. Everyone was fantastic and, actually, you looked great in the corset.’ That was the only review I needed.”

Ore plays squeaky-clean Brad Majors, who, along with his fiancée, Janet Weiss, inadvertently cross paths with mad scientist Frank-N-Furter and his bunch of outrageous followers.

Reflecting on the outrageous outfits, including fishnets and high heels, the BBC Sports presenter said: “The fishnets are actually wonderful. Fishnets were never going to be a problem, but the corset is a little bit tighter since I had my first fitting in the summer, as is tour life. After Christmas you are going to bump up a little bit. It’s the dressers I feel for, as they’ve got to squeeze me into it. The heels are improving after six months of wearing them.”

The father-of-two credits Strictly for encouraging him to branch out into the world of musical theatre.

He added: “When I finished Strictly, I realised how much I loved performing and being on stage where you can showcase your skills and talent, and I didn’t want to let that go.

“That was a big part of my journey to musical theatre, so I could keep performing and make it my job, and I’ve been so lucky since. This is my third musical. I’ve spent a lot of time on stage and it’s been magical and rewarding.”

The Rocky Horror Show, starring Ore Oduba as Brad Majors, is coming to Belfast’s Grand Opera House from March 21-26. For tickets visit www.goh.co.uk 


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