What it means to be really chuffed: Strictly Come Dancing stars talk ahead of Birmingham show

By Andy Richardson | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Three of the biggest rock stars of dance are combining their incredible talents in a brand-new show.

Aljaz Skorjanec, Giovanni Pernice and Gorka Marquez

Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaz Skorjanec, Giovanni Pernice and Gorka Marquez will feature at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall tomorrow.

The trio are giants of the ballroom and Latin world and they will battle it out on the dance floor.

The show will be set in a club and the challenge will be to find out who’s best on the dance floor.

The Strictly stalwarts will be keen to impress as they tough it out to see who thrills the fans in Latin, ballroom, commercial and contemporary. Members of the audience will then decide who is the champion.

The show will feature a DJ who will select the tracks and spin the decks while the boys will show fans why they are the true heavyweights of dance.

Tunes will range from J.Lo to Bruno Mars, MJ to Gloria Estefan. There will be dance anthems and club classics accompanied by a live percussionist and live vocals from former Clean Bandit star Elizabeth Troy.

The guilty pleasure will be like no other Strictly show. Directed and choreographed by Gareth Walker and co-choreographed by Janette Manrara, AKA Mrs Aljaz, it has been created by the producers of Rip it Up and Remembering Fred.

Aljaz finds it funny that his wife is in charge. “She’s always my boss,” he said.


“We’re so used to working together on Strictly, choreographing together. She’s really good with concepts and ideas; I’m good with making the steps work. Truly, it’s always felt like being in harmony, never like doing battle.”

The boys are used to the rigours of touring and are perfectly happy to spend their weeks roving around the UK.

Gorka says: “Well, we’re all fit and this is our job. Yes, you can wake up each morning and then remember you’ve got to travel however many miles to get to the next venue.

“But it’s the show, the audience that gives you the impetus. We simply love performing in front of the people who watch the TV show. There’s such a buzz about a live audience.”


Aljaz agrees and says the reward is seeing so many happy faces during a show. He added: “Seeing happy faces out there for two hours at every show makes it worth it.

“When we’re performing on Strictly, you don’t see the much smaller studio crowd in quite the same way. But a tour puts you directly in touch with the fans.”

The trio have dedicated their lives to dancing, starting at an early age and training until they reached the top. It was Strictly Come Dancing, however, that made them household names.

Gorka said: “I was 10 years old when I started dancing so I had a lot of experience. But being chosen to dance on Strictly opened all the doors.”

Gorka enjoyed a romance after being paired in the 2017 series of Strictly with actress Gemma Atkinson, staying together after reaching the final.

“I was first attracted to her because she’s friendly and normal and easy to talk to. My English is improving all the time. I now know what “chuffed” means.”

Andy Richardson

By Andy Richardson
Feature Writer - @andyrichardson1

Feature writer and food critic Andy Richardson interviews celebrities, writes columns and hangs out with chefs for stories that appear across all group titles.


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