The first reside episode of this yr’s Strictly Come Dancing received beneath method with a tribute to frontline NHS workers.
Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly thanked the employees, who had been sat within the viewers, earlier than the celebrities took to the dance flooring.
Reality TV star Jamie Laing was the primary to bop reside, performing the cha cha cha together with his accomplice, Karen Hauer.
Stringent Covid measures are in place for this yr’s present, together with judges sitting individually from one another.
“Thank you so much for everything you have done for us and everything you continue to do and we really hope you enjoy tonight,” Winkleman stated to the NHS workers, who sat at a social distance.
Laing was invited again for a second yr after having to depart the final sequence when he was injured.
“I’ve been waiting a whole year to do the Strictly training,” he stated. “Now I’m here, I’m feeling the pressure.”
Judge Craig Revel Horwood referred to as Laing’s efficiency “flat-footed, very tight and restricted”, and added: “That might have something to do with those lovely trousers you are wearing, don’t leave much to the imagination, do they!”
Laing stated afterwards he was “nearly physically sick” on the prospect of dancing first, doing the cha cha cha with Karen Hauer.
“I had to go to the bathroom – I thought I was going to throw up. I gagged a little bit but I was fine,” he stated.
Actress Caroline Quentin was in tears after performing the American Smooth along with her skilled accomplice Johannes Radebe.
Judge Shirley Ballas advised her she was “graceful, charming, elegant and you have the most exquisite sense of timing… You did yourself so proud today”.
Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Anton Du Beke took to the dance flooring with high hats, performing the foxtrot.
“This is my chance to show you can have a new adventure, even when you’re getting on a bit,” Smith stated.
She performed on her former profession as a politician, with a dance which started with Smith pretending to be a candidate sitting subsequent to a poll field.
After spelling out his criticisms, Revel Horwood had some excellent news.
“When you consider [former prime minister] Theresa May and her dancing, I think you’re 10 times better than that,” he stated.
The pair had been awarded a 3, 5, and 5 from the judges.
Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez wowed judges with a samba, scoring 24 factors.
They received a standing ovation from judges Motsi Mabuse and Ballas, with Smith referred to as an “absolute firecracker”.
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