Carlisle-born Helen Skelton has called making it to Blackpool on Strictly as a “personal milestone”
Strictly Come Dancing’s Helen Skelton has spoken about the importance of making it to Blackpool, calling it a “personal milestone”.
TV presenter Helen, who is currently on the BBC One series with dance partner, Gorka Marquez, scored an impressive score of 32 on Saturday night (12 November) for their salsa routine. The dance, which was performed to Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, paved the way for the dance partners to land a spot in the famous Tower Ballroom.
Strictly is set to return to Blackpool next weekend after it was away from our screens for two years due to the pandemic. The remaining eight couples in the dancing competition will hope to impress the judges in the seaside town, famed for its links with ballroom dancing.
Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter Skelton, 39, told the PA news agency: “I think Blackpool has always been a milestone. I’m from the North West, so all of my family, every year my family went to Blackpool for a long weekend for the illuminations… so I think, for me, this was always like a big milestone.”
Professional dancer Gorka Marquez also called Blackpool a “remarkable place for dancing” describing it as akin to “the Wimbledon of dance.” He also stated that when it comes to Strictly, Blackpool is in the DNA of Strictly.”
Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom is an infamous part of the programme, with many of the celebrity contestants hoping to get there as part of the series. Over the years, memorable moments from the show have etched in the minds of fans, including former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in 2016.
Balls, along with his dance partner Katya Jones, performed the jive in Blackpool to the Jerry Lee Lewis hit Great Balls of Fire and was lowered from the ceiling whilst playing a piano. Fellow ex-politician Ann Widdecombe also made her mark with partner Anton Du Beke in 2010.
The former Tory MP and dancer-turned-judge, both dressed in bright yellow and achieved the night’s lowest score of 13 out of 40 for their samba. Carlisle-born Skelton continued: “You just have to take it week by week, because everybody is so good.
“And you can’t really think about anything other than what you’ve got to do that week, which is a nice place to be, because I think it’d be too stressful… we’re just taking it week by week, enjoying it, having a good time. Trying to get better each week and thankfully people have very kindly kept us in so far.
“So hopefully it’ll keep going that way.” Speaking about making it this far in the competition, Marquez said: “I think every week that we make it through is a celebration, it’s a very tough competition this year.
“And we are just very grateful that the audience support us and help us get through, because without them we wouldn’t be in this point of the competition.” A surprise exit was made during the latest episode, as former England footballer Tony Adams was forced to withdraw due to injury.
On Sunday night’s (13 November) results show, the 56-year-old became the seventh celebrity to leave the popular dancing competition. Host Tess Daly said: “Due to an injury sustained on Saturday night, Tony is unable to take part in the dance-off and has decided to withdraw from the competition.
“This means there will be no dance-off tonight and Tyler (West) and Dianne (Buswell) are through to Blackpool.” The show on Sunday also featured a routine marking Remembrance Sunday, with the Strictly professionals and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and singer Zak Abel performing their single Same Boat.
Next Saturday 19 November in Blackpool will see the remaining eight couples dance at the Tower, with the programme starting at 7.45pm and the results show on Sunday 20 November at 7.20pm on BBC One.
- 07:56, 14 NOV 2022
- UPDATED07:57, 14 NOV 2022