Bussell to be tough Strictly judge

Gazette Series: Darcey Bussell joins Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel Darcey Bussell joins Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel

New Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell predicts she will be a harsh critic of the show's most promising contestants to push them on.

The former ballet star said she will have empathy for the ordeals of the new intake of dancefloor hopefuls, but reckons she will be tough on the ones who show most potential.

In a radio interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Darcey tells Nick Ferrari "I have a lot of empathy for them and what they'll be going through. But, yes, I will be critical - only if they have potential and I can see that and I feel that they're not doing what they could be doing."

Darcey, a former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, went on: "For me, it's not all about the expertise. I think if they can be the entertainer, that will sell it more and often if they're good at listening to the music, that will carry them as well."

The dancer - who replaces Alesha Dixon on the panel of the BBC1 show - says in an interview with Classic FM she will be looking for an "all-rounder".

Strictly launches on September 15 with a line-up of stars which will include former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, veteran TV host Johnny Ball and Tracey Beaker actress Dani Harmer.

And she admitted to being a fan of the show's "novelty" performers, such as Russell Grant and Anne Widdecombe.

"I think they're the best bits. It is entertainment, we mustn't forget that. Dance is entertainment. You can have the best technicians in the world, but they'll be boring to watch. It has to be about entertainment as well, but it's quality, grace."

:: The Classic FM Interview with Nick Ferrari will be aired on Sunday at 9pm.

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