Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I Never Watched Strictly ... Now I'm a Fan for Life! 'M a Fan for Life! ; IN THE HOTSEATsinger Simon Webbe, 36, Tells MARION MCMULLEN He's Caught the Dancing Bug as He and Blue Prepare to Bring out a New Album and Hit the Road

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I Never Watched Strictly ... Now I'm a Fan for Life! 'M a Fan for Life! ; IN THE HOTSEATsinger Simon Webbe, 36, Tells MARION MCMULLEN He's Caught the Dancing Bug as He and Blue Prepare to Bring out a New Album and Hit the Road

Article excerpt

Are you still dancing after your stint on the last Strictly? I'VE just finished the Strictly tour and it was a great taste of what's to come this year. I got the chance to dance with some amazing dancers - the best dancers in the world - just to watch these guys is amazing.

Kristina Rihanoff was your partner in the live shows. Was she a hard taskmaster? ?LAUGHS? She has made me super-fit. She was (adopts a mock Russian accent) 'Throw me here, throw me there, put me here, put me there,' but then you saw what she was doing as well. I learned a lot.

And did you get to hold the mirror ball trophy on tour? I WAS the tour champion. I won 19 out of the 31 dates. I was very, very happy. The people's choice.

We got a standing ovation every W night and I was told that was the first time that had happened in seven years of the live tour.

Have you caught the dancing bug? I HAVE, I have. I'd love to open a performing arts school and make it compulsory to learn dancing in my school. Strictly has changed my life in all sorts of ways.

Strictly was a show I had never really watched and now I am a fan for life. There's nothing more beautiful than taking a lady's hand and leading her out on the dance floor and holding her close for a ballroom dance and moving across the floor.

There is nothing sexier. It was just a tremendous experience.

It sounds like it has been a busy time for you? I WAS making the new album, doing Strictly and preparing for the Blue tour all at the same time. I'm proud of what we have achieved as a team.

Blue released their first single in 2001. What the secret of the band's staying power? I THINK it's a massive testament to NK it's a massive testament to our friendship that we have lasted so long. Right from the beginning that was important. We would hear about W other bands physically fighting and would promise we would never do the same.

So any problems over the years? WE HAVE had one argument in 14 years. That's it. It was in the early days about time-keeping on a tour. …

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