BBC newsreaders do Strictly Come Dancing for Children in Need

Emily Maitlis, Sian Williams and Sophie Raworth put on their dancing shoes for charity

Emily Maitlis

Last partner: I last danced at a party in San Francisco with my mate, Jo. Snoop Dogg was on stage, so my next dance will be slightly different.

Perfect partner: Every girl has got a Dirty Dancing fantasy going on so I would have to go with Patrick Swayze. I’ve watched the film a billion times and know every step, the only thing I really need to focus on is that plank lift at the end. I just need the right person underneath me – oh dear that doesn’t sound right, does it?

Ideal Strictly partner: I got thrown upside-down by Anton Du Beke in a pub last week – she said, having just got back from the osteopath – so I would love to have him as my partner. I need someone big enough to lift me and he has proved that he can, so I would feel reassured.

Sian Williams

Last partner: I danced with Chris Hollins last week when he found out I was doing Strictly. There was some music on and he said I was bobbing out of time and got very worried, so he showed me a bit of the tango — which made him laugh! It was a great first lesson, but he has become such a luvvie — he was talking about my “top lines”, which was very confusing.

Perfect partner: Gene Kelly, because I would love to dance with a man and be completely swept away by him, without worrying about the steps or looking stupid. He would make me look good regardless.

Ideal Strictly partner: Vincent Simone is lovely and he’s my size so I hope I get him. The most important thing is that he makes me laugh and can take the agony of dancing away. I am so nervous I just need to have a laugh with it and I have promised my sons that I won’t embarrass them or do anything too sexy!

Sophie Raworth

Last partner: A couple of weeks ago I danced around the kitchen table with my little boy Oliver to Jamie Cullum. I went to see him perform at the Met Bar in London and loved his version of Don’t Stop the Music, so I downloaded it and was playing it while I was cooking when he took my hand and started dancing.

Perfect partner: I would feel most comfortable with my husband, who is a really good dancer. It’s from him that my son probably got his rhythm because it definitely wasn’t from me.

Ideal Strictly partner: Brendan Cole – but only because I’ve got to know him over the years and he’s not nearly as tough as he appears. He’s a real softie and I would feel very safe with him. For some reason this Children in Need performance has got me more nervous than any other. I have butterflies and we haven’t even started rehearsing yet. The main problem is that last year we had a month to rehearse and this year we have a week. I did have a television on my head for the Lady Gaga routine last year, though – Brendan would be a much nicer accessory.

The BBC newsreaders’ Strictly Come Dancing segment is scheduled to air between 8 and 8:30pm on Friday 18 November on BBC1 and BBC1 HD.


This article was first published in the Radio Times, 18 November 2011.