Interview: Robert Webb On Strictly

Interview: Robert Webb On Strictly

Strictly Come Dancing is back and Robert Webb is in the latest series. We know he can move a bit after seeing him do his Flashdance on Comic Relief. Now can he do a Bill Bailey and fly the flag for comedians on the coming weeks on BBC One? Also in the line-up are Judi Love and Goodness Gracious Me star Nina Wadia.



What made you want to take part this year?

It's just a straightforward wish to jump up and down in funny costumes for the viewing pleasure of the ladies and gentlemen of the British public mainly. There's also the fact that two years ago, I had to have quite a big heart operation, which made me think, ‘This is no time to be cool’. It gave me a slightly different perspective. It was between yes and no and yes felt like the bigger and more generous and more expansive answer. No would have left me feeling like a coward.

Are any dances in particular you’re excited to learn and perform?

They all look really exciting. I hope I'm there long enough to try a few out. I've always loved the attitude of the Tango. The performer in me is looking forward to acting those different sort of styles and doing all of the faces really!

How do you feel about being ‘Strictly-fied’?

I'm up for an extreme costume. You can spray me most colours but I just don’t want to look like Donald Trump.

Do you have any dances from previous series that are particular favourites of yours?

I loved Bill and Oti’s dance to Rapper’s Delight. I thought that was classy and wonderful. I mean, it's all just so joyful. There’s such a good feeling about the show because it's like, ‘Let's work out a dance and then show the grownups and then the grownups actually give you marks out of 10!’ It's just a really big, massive, beautiful entertainment show.

What has the reaction been like to you taking part in Strictly 2021? How have your family and friends reacted?

Very excited. In fact, I’d tentatively say they are more excited than me and that is pretty excited.

Do you have any previous dance experience?

The only thing I've done that was structured choreography was when I did Let’s Dance for Comic Relief in 2009 and I did a dance recreating the famous dance scene from Flashdance. That was fun but it was really hard. I'm no better than anybody else learning or remembering moves but I know from the outside it looks like that because I went on to win it. But, I know the truth and the truth is that the first live performance was the first time I got from start to finish without stopping! I was just utterly terrified beyond belief. I’m hoping it won’t be as bad this time as I’ll have longer to rehearse and a partner!

What are you looking for in a dance partner?

She's got to be very, very patient and have fabulous forgiveness because I'm a pretty slow learner. Once I’ve got it, I usually make a reasonable attempt to sell it but it takes a while for me to get it. So just a very patient person please!

What are you doing to prepare for the show?

I’m trying to stay reasonably fit. I had a calf strain, which meant I had to stop running for four weeks which was very frustrating, but I know that I'm going to need a bit of stamina. I used to do absolutely nothing but since my heart operation, I’ve been doing weights and running. It took me about a year before I could run, but since then I've become quite a sporty person, but I've had to stop for a while.

Have you had any advice before taking part in the show? Have you spoken to anyone who has done it before?

I don’t know anyone personally who’s done it before but I have worked with Mark Benton and Seann Walsh. I do remember advice that Shirley Ballas gave at the beginning of one of the previous series which was, ‘Leave your ego at the door of the rehearsal room’. I think that's very good advice because you just haven't got the energy to spare. You're dancing all day long. You haven't got the energy to get to cross with yourself, all of your energy has to go into failing better until you're not failing anymore.

Would you say you’re a competitive person? Are you in it to win the Glitterball Trophy?

I think in the early weeks, I'll be hanging on for dear life and just trying to survive from one moment to the next but if I get halfway through then I think I will start to invest in putting trip wires outside dressing room doors and spiking their energy drinks with laxatives.

Interview and picture supplied by BBC.



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