BBC's Kate Silverton: 'Strictly had to make special shoes for my big feet'

Telegraph Reporters
BBC newsreader Kate Silverton had to have special shoes made for the show

Entering the country’s most famous dance competition as a woman whose last attempt to grace the floor was eight years ago is gutsy.

But when Kate Silverton, the BBC newsreader, appears on Strictly Come Dancing, she will have the added challenge offered by her above-average size nine feet.

The 48-year-old, whose place on the show was confirmed on Friday, admits they are so large producers ordered “special shoes” because none in the Strictly wardrobe were big enough.

And Silverton said her husband Mike Heron was ‘bemused’ by her entry - given the last time she tried to dance, at their wedding in 2010, it didn’t end well.

“I messed it up,” she told the Daily Mail. “My feet got in the way. I’m having to have special shoes made for me because Strictly didn’t have any big enough.”

Kate Silverton leaving BBC studios on Friday evening Credit: GORC/GC Images

The presenter, who is 5ft 10in, was introduced to a selection of Strictly’s costumes earlier this week. She said having two children in her 40s has not knocked her confidence as she prepares to compete for the glitterball trophy.

“At 14, I was already a shoe size eight and, while my school friends delighted in wearing the latest styles, I was still in Clarks Classics or — horror of horrors — boys' shoes,” she said.

“Earlier this week, I tried on a costume. It was very short,  like wearing a swimsuit. When I put it on I thought: ‘This is how I am. This is how I look. Embrace it.’

“I'm 48. I've had two children in my 40s. My body has actually served me really well.'”

But despite her confidence, Silverton still has a couple of caveats for her professional dance partner, who is yet to be announced.

She said: “You ask, 'Why Strictly?' Why not Strictly? I love music. I love dancing with the children in the kitchen.

“I'd love to be paired with Aljaz [Skorjanec, last year’s  runner-up who was partnered with actress Gemma Atkinson].

Alijaz Skorjanec and Gemma Atkinson on the last season of Strictly Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images Europe

“He's got an element of fun, but equally he will teach me, and there's going to be a lot to learn.

“Let's say the benchmark is quite low. Whoever I dance with has to be taller, wider and have bigger feet.”

It is not the first time Silverton, best known for regularly presenting the BBC’s one, six and ten o’clock news bulletins, has been approached for Strictly.

She was offered a position in 2006 and again 2009, but said her personal life, including her struggle to have children, meant the moment was not right.

“Where I am right now, everything has come together,” she said.

Both Silverton’s children, Clemency, six, and Wilbur, four, were conceived naturally after five failed IVF attempts.

The average shoe size of British women is six and only six percent are a size eight or above, according to the British Footwear Association.

A BBC spokesperson said: " Our wonderful wardrobe team are creating a pair of custom-made dance shoes to fit Kate’s size 9 feet, which should give her all the support she needs to look amazing on the dancefloor."

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