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Strictly Come Dancing: Tina O’Brien interview

Georgina Hague catches up with Strictly Come Dance’s Tina O’Brien ahead of the live tour

Written by . Published on November 26th 2010.

Strictly Come Dancing: Tina O’Brien interview

Former Coronation Street actress Tina O’Brien became the fourth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing earlier this month despite donning an Olivia Newton John inspired outfit and giving her all in the Argentine tango. Still, all is not lost for the mum of one who is now ready to embark on the Strictly Come Dancing Tour. Georgina Hague caught up with tangoing Tina and her dance partner Jared Murillo to talk about her time on Strictly...

GH: How do you feel about going on the Strictly Come Dancing Tour?

TO: It’s so exciting. We’re going to be with a really good bunch of people. So far, we know Kara and Patsy are doing it, Ricky Whittle, Colin Jackson. We either going to be doing one or two shows a day.

GH: Isn’t that going to be even harder work than the live shows?

JM: It depends. You do have to pace yourself. Every day throughout the whole show is very gruelling but if you have a couple of numbers here and there it will actually be ok.

TO: Yeah I think we only do two dances per show

JM: You might!

GH: Strictly Come Dancing is hugely popular. When they asked you to go on the show was it a definite yes straight away?

TO: Yes but I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy it or not mainly because I had a fear of live of live TV. I put myself into a situation that I couldn’t control so it was a bit daunting for me but I honestly had the best experience of my life.

GH: Were you worried about who you’d be partnered with?

JM: I knew I had her. Well I didn’t know, but I knew I’d get her.

TO: I had it down to you or Vincent. I wasn’t sure if they’d put you with Kara actually.

GH: But were you both happy with your match?

JM: Of course. Well I knew I had her anyway...

TO: He didn’t speak to me!

JM: I didn’t want to make it seem like I knew.

GH: Tina, have you had dance experience before?

TO: I did dance GCSE but that’s very different. When would you get thrown in the deep end and be expected to step up to the mark? In any dance classes they ease you in gently as a beginner, where as with this you need to get good quick.

GH: Jared, was she a good student?

JM: Oh definitely, she really wanted to learn and she really wanted to try.

TO: My balance isn’t great though. I wonder why that is?

JM: It was getting better and better. You were improving every week.

GH: And obviously you caught chicken pox during the show, which was a major set back...

TO: It was just horrible having to watch the show from home. I came down with chicken pox on the Thursday but I was still adamant that I wanted to train and go on the show but they just said no you’re contagious so you can’t. It was just really sad. I was constantly texting them pictures of me with spots and actually my phone has since been stolen so someone has now got pictures of me like that.

GH: How did you feel going out when for example Ann Widdecombe is still on the show?

TO: Ann-a-mosity. Get it? (laughs) The reason I was so sad to leave was because I’d come into the competition as a complete beginner so I really did still feel like I was in the deep end. I really feel that if I’d been given the opportunity to stay in, I would have improved. I feel like I was just getting into it.

GH: I watch the show and get frustrated as I like watching it for the great dancing. Ann, bless her, tries hard but she knocks people like you guys out...

TO: I think it’s difficult because at the same time the public are voting and clearly they want to see her again. We went because people didn’t vote for us – it’s as simple as that really. You can be really high up the score board but sometimes because you’re up there, people don’t think to vote for you.

JM: That’s the irony of it. People say ‘you shouldn’t have left’ but then they didn’t pick up the phone and vote for us.

GH: Yeah - Jimi Mistry went the other week and you just think why didn’t people vote for him?

TO: Yes and he was so high up the score board. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they change the whole system.

JM: It’s interesting how the scoring works this season because it seems like it’s different from previous seasons. I know they don’t have a dance-off of course, but I find it odd that someone at the top of the leader board can get voted off.

TO: It’s a shame but maybe by the final, the people that will be there will deserve to be there like Kara, Scott and Matt.

JM: At the end of the day it’s what the audience wants. If the audience wants Ann in then keep her in. Good for her. This season it’s anyone’s game. No one is safe.

GH: Who is your favourite judge?

TO: That’s a difficult question because I like them all for different reasons. I’d love to go out on a night out with Alesha – I think she’d be so much fun. Len is like your granddad.

JM: I feel like Len has very valid comments. He really gives good criticism. He points things out that you need to work on as oppose to just saying you suck.

GH: Do you agree with the way that Craig scores?

JM: He likes to just say ‘it was horrible darling’ but he doesn’t really give very valid point about what you need to work on – something a good judge would do.

TO: Having said that, if you were to meet him he is lovely.

GH: All show then?

TO: I think a lot of it’s put on, but I’m probably not supposed to say that.

GH: Did you get on well with everyone on the show?

TO: Yeah – we’re easy going people so we got on with everyone. They were all really upset when we left.

GH: Do you get to keep the costumes?

TO: No. I think maybe they come on tour though? I’m not sure.

GH: What does your little girl think of your dancing?

TO: She’s a little bit young to understand what’s going on but when I was on Strictly she would dance in front of the TV shouting ‘mummy!.’ Now she thinks everyone on TV is ‘mummy.’

GH: What’s been the best thing about appearing on Strictly?

JM: For me it’s getting to know my celeb. We’ve had the best time. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.

TO: Me too. It was a dream job to do.

Strictly Come Dancing The Live Tour 2011 will be at the Manchester Evening News Arena on 8 and 9 February 2011. For more information please click here.

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