Another spin-off from Strictly Come Dancing comes to the City Hall on Saturday courtesy of Craig Revel Horwood.
The formidable TV judge has written a new show, Strictly Confidential, featuring three of the dancers, Artem Chigvintsev, Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite and Lisa Riley, former Emmerdale actress who was the break-out star of the last series.
“It’s a variety show with lots of singing, dancing and Strictly stuff,” explains Ian Waite. “There are lots of clips and running right through the show is an autobiographical element.
“Lisa acts as compere and talks about how she got into acting and then on to Strictly and we reveal how we started dancing.”
For Ian it has proved a new challenge. “I am used to public speaking,” he says, “and working with Natalie on our show I do a lot of rambling on to the audience while she is offstage changing. But I have never had to learn a script word for word before and it’s all about ourselves which is a bit funny. Sometimes I’m talking about the competitions I have won and I think, do i have to keep going on about all that.
“Craig has written the show from interviews he did with us over the past year. He gave us lots of questions about our past and some of the funny things that have happened to us and turned it into a story.”
Among the things he reveals is that Zoe Ball is his favourite partner. “Everyone expected her to be rubbish because she was gawky and tall and lanky,” says the man who has been dancing since the age of 10 and was European Youth Latin American champion before joining Strictly Come Dancing in 2004.
“But she had such a talent and it was easy to teach her and as partners we got on well and are still great friends.”
They reached the final together, something Ian Waite achieved twice (the other time with Denise Lewis).
He has also formed a successful partnership with Natalie Lowe with whom he has danced on It Takes Two and as a cabaret act and also on a fitness class.
Four times Australian dance champion Natalie Lowe is looking forward to being back in Sheffield which she got to know well when partnering former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan last year.
“We would work up here at City Limits dance studio from Monday to Friday and then go down to London to rehearse at the weekend,” she says.
“I didn’t get to see as much of the city as we were in the studio ten hours a day but we did a few visits to local schools. He also took me to my first English footy match at Sheffield Wednesday.”
There are performances of Strictly Confidential at the City Hall on Saturday at 1.30pm and 7.30pm.