Caroline Quentin: 'Strictly' made me feel trapped and institutionalised

Caroline Quentin is taking to the floor for Strictly 2020. (BBC)
Caroline Quentin felt trapped by her Strictly experience. (BBC)

Caroline Quentin has said Strictly Come Dancing made her feel “trapped” and “institutionalised.

The star of Jonathan Creek and Men Behaving Badly does not appear to have fond memories of her experience in the latest series of the BBC dance show, which was filmed under strict social distancing bubbles due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Quentin, 60, told The Guardian: “It’s probably the oddest thing I’ve done… Basically, you’re trapped. I mean, thank God I liked my partner. People say it’s an institution and… I felt a bit institutionalised by the time I came out.”

Watch: Caroline Quentin voted off Strictly in week five after ‘that lick’

Read more: Oti Mabuse thanks Strictly stars in first post since winning with Bill Bailey

Asked to elaborate on why she felt that way, the actor said: “It’s a bit like The Wizard of Oz. The wizard’s behind that screen and he is not the mighty Wizard of Oz. It’s impenetrable, opaque. It’s a machine.

“They all refer to Strictly as a well-oiled machine. It has to be. But, within that, I think it can become a little… insensitive to individuals.”

Picture Shows:  Caroline Quentin, Johannes Radebe - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Caroline Quentin was criticised for licking her dance partner Johannes Radebe. (BBC)

Quentin received criticism for her cha-cha-cha performance, during which she licked the arm of dance partner Johannes Radebe.

The star of Blue Murder and Life Begins said she was surprised by the backlash and insisted Radebe had given prior consent to the move, which was supposed to be humorous.

“Well, let me just say that Johannes was completely complicit. I am not a licker. I did not take it upon myself to lick him. We talked about it. It was consensual licking.”

She added: “It was meant to be funny. So get a sense of humour or f*** off. One or the other. I don’t care.”

Quentin said she was aware of Strictly prior to signing up, but had never watched a full episode.

She took part because she had nothing better to do after her play at the National Theatre was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Strictly Come Dancing Maisie Smith, Gorka Marquez, Johannes Radebe, Caroline Quentin - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Johannes Radebe and Caroline Quentin lost out to Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez in the Strictly dance-off in week five. (BBC)

The Kiss Me Kate star was voted off in week five, following the “lick”.

Read more: Elizabeth Hurley is Strictly superfan, contestant Caroline Quentin reveals

Comedian and actor Bill Bailey, 55, went on to win the 2020 series with dance partner Oti Mabuse – making her the first Strictly pro to win the show two years in a row.

Watch: 'They are really wonderful' Ranvir Singh wishes Maisie Smith and HRVY all the best