Fleur East says Strictly experience is ‘difficult to deal with’
Former Strictly Come Dancing star Fleur East has opened up about the strangest parts of her new role as an It Takes Two presenter, as well as what she’s most excited about ahead of her debut next month.
Fleur’s interview with Express.co.uk comes after she wowed crowds at Cheshire’s DevaFest last weekend, headlining at the family-friendly music, food and lifestyle festival on Saturday night.
The singer, who made it to the final of the BBC dance show last year with professional partner Vito Coppola, is taking over the reins from Rylan Clark on the spin-off show.
She will be joined by former Strictly professional Janette Manrara, who will be returning to her hosting role on the programme just weeks after giving birth to her first child, a daughter named Lyra.
Speaking about taking over from Rylan, who has hosted the show since 2019, Fleur explained: “I’ve worked with Rylan a few times – we’ve hosted the Radio Academy Awards together in the past – and I’ve always watched him and thought he’s a brilliant presenter.
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“He is just so natural and so personable. I mean, I’ve been interviewed by him literally on the It Takes Two sofa.”
Fleur went on to admit that it will be “weird” for her to be on the other side of the studio sofas.
“To be in his shoes is surreal,” she said. “It’s really weird for me, but he’s been really, really nice and has just wished me nothing but the best and just said, ‘Oh, you’ll have a great time’.
“And I just love that I’ll be able to understand exactly what the celebs are going through because I’ve been there,” she added.
“I’ll be able to watch their faces to see when they’re dreading a dance or when they’re sitting there talking to me, but really, they want to be in rehearsals because they’ve been struggling that day. I can’t wait to give them some advice.”
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Speaking more about how she first felt when she was given the new role, Fleur confessed: “It’s crazy. I don’t know if I understood the gravity of what I was actually doing or what I’ve been assigned to do.
“Initially, I think maybe I was in a bit of shock and I didn’t realise, and it hadn’t sunk in that I’d actually got the job.
“And then it was only when I bumped into other friends and family and Strictly fans and they were just like, ‘This is huge. It Takes Two is massive, congratulations!’ And I was like, ‘Okay, this is big.’
Fleur went on to reveal she has been so excited to see this year’s line-up announced, adding: “It’s taken me back to last year when it was my turn and I just had such an incredible time.
“I’m just so happy that this time I can be involved and part of the family but without the pressure, without the nerves, without the bunions and the missing toenails. I can just enjoy it. I’m looking forward to it.”
Fleur admitted that another strange aspect of her new role is that she already knows the professional dancers on a personal level – especially former dance partner Vito.
She said: “I think it’s going to be really weird for me, because I remember going into it last year and seeing all the pros and just looking up to them and admiring them and thinking, ‘Jeez – these people are so talented…’
“And then now they’re gonna be sitting across from me on the sofa and I have to interview them. That’s really weird.”
Confirming that Vito would be getting an “extra grilling”, she laughed: “I don’t think I’d be able to look Vito in the eye with a new partner and treat him as though I don’t know anything about him.
“I’m just going to be like, ‘What was going on there on Saturday night?!’ It’s going to be funny.”
To read more about DevaFest, Cheshire’s family-friendly music, food and lifestyle festival, visit their website here.
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