After it was announced that the talented actor, 55, would be partnered with Karen Hauer, 39, during series 19’s debut episode, the pair were interviewed by presenter Claudia Winkleman, 49, from the iconic ballroom studio.
Heaping praise upon the glitterball hopeful, the TV host said, ‘You are incredibly kind, the group have bonded so beautifully and you’ve been making people and giving them jam.’
Hilarious: Greg Wise joked that he fed his fellow-contestants poisonous jam during Saturday night’s returning episode of Strictly Come Dancing… after revealing he will be dancing in honour of his late ‘disco diva’ sister
Confirming that it was indeed true, Greg revealed, ‘Every contestant got homemade Damson jam that I made last week.’
It wasn’t long until he quipped, ‘Poisoned, obviously. But they got the jam.’
The Newcastle-born star previously revealed he is taking part in Strictly in honour of his late sister Clare, who was a huge fan of the show before her death in 2016 from cancer.
Speaking to MailOnline ahead of his debut in the series, Greg said that his superstar wife Emma Thompson, 62, convinced him to sign up after insisting he was ‘mad’ not to take part
Touching: The Newcastle-born star previously revealed he is taking part in Strictly in honour of his late sister Clare, who was a huge fan of the show before her death in 2016 from cancer (pictured in 2014)
What a pair! After it was announced that the talented actor, 55, would be partnered with Karen Hauer, 39, during series 19’s debut episode, the pair were interviewed by presenter Claudia Winkleman, 49, from the iconic ballroom studio
Happy times: The new dancing duo couldn’t hide their happiness as they struck a pose at the end of the first group routine
They were originally planning to take their first holiday together in seven years before he was approached by bosses.
Greg, who married Emma in 1992 after they co-starred in Sense and Sensibility, admitted: ‘I told my dear lady wife when they asked me and I said no and she said, “You’re mad you’ve got to do it!”
He said: ‘I was asked and I thought, “No absolutely I can’t do it,” and then I thought about it, and almost exactly five years after my sister died we’ll be doing our first routines.
Comedian: Greg revealed, ‘Every contestant got homemade Damson jam that I made last week,’ although it wasn’t long until he quipped, ‘Poisoned, obviously. But they got the jam’
‘My sister was a real disco diva she was the dancer in the family and she left this world in a glitterball coffin, so as this world is all glittery I have to go it for her.’
Greg added that he’s hoping some of Clare’s closest friends can be in the audience for one of the live shows.
He added: ‘I’m 30 years in as a professional now and I’ve never even dreamt of trying to get something like this, it’s all about living slightly out of your comfort zone, I’m the oldest one here! I’ve got to try and emulate Mr. Bailey from last year.’
This year’s Strictly saw 15 celebrities take to the dancefloor with their professional partners.
Loved up: Speaking to MailOnline ahead of his debut in the series, Greg revealed that his superstar wife Emma Thompson, 62, convinced him to sign up after insisting he was ‘mad’ not to take part (pictured in 2019)
Stars including actor Greg, comedian Judi Love, singer Tom Fletcher and presenter AJ Odudu, who will take to the dancefloor in their sequins in the hope of impressing the judging panel.
Despite the easing of Covid restrictions across the UK, bosses have confirmed that many of last year’s protocols will continue for this series, including couples forming Covid-safe ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform safely.
This year’s instalment also sees the return of a live audience, after most of the 2020 series was plagued by England’s ongoing lockdowns.
Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday evenings on BBC One.
Candid: He said: ‘ I was asked and I thought, “No absolutely I can’t do it,” and then I thought about it, and almost exactly five years after my sister died we’ll be doing our first routines’
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE COUPLES?
TOM FLETCHER & AMY DOWDEN
Celebrity’s Age: 36
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
ROBERT WEBB & DIANNE BUSWELL
Celebrity’s Age: 48
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
RHYS STEPHENSON & NANCY XU
Celebrity’s Age: 27
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
KATIE MCGLYNN & GORKA MARQUEZ
Celebrity’s Age: 28
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
TILLY RAMSAY & NIKITA KUZMIN
Celebrity’s Age: 19
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
NINA WADIA & NEIL JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 52
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
ADAM PEATY & KATYA JONES
Celebrity’s Age: 26
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
UGO MONYE & OTI MABUSE
Celebrity’s Age: 38
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
AJ ODUDU & KAI WIDDRINGTON
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: TV presenter
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
JOHN WHAITE & JOHANNES RADEBE
Celebrity’s Age: 33
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: The duo are the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
SARA DAVIES & ALJAZ SKORJANEC
Celebrity’s Age: 37
Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
DAN WALKER & NADIYA BYCHKOVA
Celebrity’s Age: 44
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
GREG WISE & KAREN HAUER
Celebrity’s Age: 55
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
ROSE AYLING-ELLIS & GIOVANNI PERNICE
Celebrity’s Age: 30
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
JUDI LOVE & GRAZIANO DI PRIMA
Celebrity’s Age: 41
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.