Bill Bailey: Winning Strictly Come Dancing encouraged men to dance

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Bill Bailey has said winning Strictly Come Dancing inspired men to sign up for dance classes.

The comedian was crowned the winner of the celebrity competition in 2020, alongside professional partner Oti Mabuse.

More than 13 million viewers tuned in to watch Bailey see off competition from HRVY, Maisie Smith and Jamie Laing in the final of the BBC programme.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse, winners the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 (Guy Levy/PA)

Talking to John Bishop on his ITV chatshow, the 57-year-old said following his win more men signed up to dance classes.

Host Bishop, 55, said: “Bill it was obviously massive when you won Strictly but it wasn’t just massive for you, I think it was massive for every middle-aged bloke in the country who looks like they can’t dance.”

The actor, who was a guest alongside Michelle Keegan, said he had “sincerely hoped” his win would encourage men to take up the hobby.

He added: “I think a lot of men of our vintage get a bit self-conscious on the dancefloor.

“You get up and of course you’re aware people are going to say ‘oh hello a bit of dad dancing’, and I think blokes feel that and I think they feel there is a bit of pressure and they don’t do it.

“But actually what I hope me winning did was encourage a lot of men and women of that age to get up and dance.

“Lots of dance schools noticed that people were signing up, loads of blokes singing up for dance classes because they think if Bill can do it, then I can do it.”

Bailey took the record as oldest winner from Joe McFadden, who won in 2017, aged 42.

Their couple’s choice dance to Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang was a standout moment in the show.

The John Bishop Show continues next Saturday at 9.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.

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