24 October 2020 20:32
Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stunned Strictly Come Dancing fans when she announced she had signed up to appear on the upcoming 2020 series. The 57-year-old Labour politician explained she was "speechless" when approached to be part of the BBC dancing show and couldn't wait to "throw myself into it." Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "Jacqui's time on the Strictly dance floor looks set to come to an end in the next couple of days with punters clearly convinced she'll be the first to go." At the other end of the scale EastEnders beauty Maisie Smith continues to head the betting and her odds have been cut once again to just 15/8 to go all the way this year, putting her ahead of joint second-favourites singer HRVY and The Wanted's Max George at 5/1. Strictly Come Dancing will return for its 18th series on Saturday October 24 following the launch show last weekend which showed the celebrities coupling up with their professional dance partner. Jacqui is partnered with Strictly veteran Anton Du Beke and the pair have been busy perfecting their routine over the past few weeks. Sharing the Strictly advice Ed passed onto her, Jacqui told RadioTimes.com::Nobody can ever compete with Ed's Gangnam Style, but what he said to me was actually, 'Embrace it and really go for it and try hard', and I promise you that is what I'm going to do." Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday at 7.25pm Jacqui, 57, was partnered with Anton du Beke, 54, during last weekend's launch for this year's season of Strictly Come Dancing.
However, they did things a little differently by introducing props into their routine which has never been seen on the BBC dance show this early in the competition. Following the couple's performance, presenter Tess Daly, 51, said: "Jacqui, I think your new adventure has begun and [Anton] made you use props to contend with in week one. Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke make Strictly Come Dancing history during first live week Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Jacqui Smith made her debut on the show during week one READ MORE Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Ranvir 'to win' with secret dance move One fan posted on the social media platform: "To be fair Jacqui wasn't that bad for week one, it's just the standard has been very high this year. Really loved the dance and routine though #Strictly." Another added: "You can tell @Jacqui_Smith1 worked b***** hard over the last couple of weeks. Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke danced with props Strictly Come Dancing 2020 line-up: FULL list of celebrities taking part this year Jacqui wasn't that bad Strictly Come Dancing viewer Anton Du Beke's 'exciting' announcement away from Strictly [COMMENT] Jacqui Smith slammed for Strictly stint as NHS struggles with Covid [COMMENT] It seems former Home Secretary Jacqui could be making an early exit from the competition as Coral bookmakers have her odds at getting the boot at 11/10.
'Yes, he said that he knew I would work hard,' she says, giving a little grimace. 'There's been a fair bit of him saying 'stand up straight' and, frankly, 'stick your tits out',' explains Jacqui, 57 (pictured together) Conversation lurches from fake tan (she's never had a spray tan, but it is imminent, and, yes, she's terrified), to her divorce (she and her husband Richard announced their split in January), to the menopause (yes, she was going through it at the same time she was Home Secretary). Whether or not you think she was a good Home Secretary, the sad reality is most don't remember what she did, only how it ended. A lot of the time I spent as Home Secretary was about closing in your emotions and if you were acting at all, it was as a serious, sensible person.' Her husband Richard Timney (she never took his name) gave up his career to stay at home ('he sacrificed everything, yes') and later worked as her aide (pictured together) 'Being a politician for 13 years means you are quite used to going from one thing to another. She was going through it while Home Secretary, she says, but was desperate no one would know.
Anton Du Beke says his father used to hit him with a belt as a child (Picture: Steve Meddle/REX) The Strictly Come Dancing star, 54, says his father Antal, who died in 2001, would hit him with a belt as a child. Anton is partnered with Jacqui Smith on the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing (Picture: PA) 'I knew he was going to tell me my father had died and I didn't care. The much-loved Strictly star – who is paired with politician Jacqui Smith on this year's series – is now a father himself with wife Hannah Summers, and the couple share three-year-old twins George and Henrietta. MORE: Strictly Come Dancing's Anton Du Beke admits filming series in quarantine would be 'difficult'