'Christmas depends on it': Bill Bailey under pressure to make 'Strictly' final as mates bet on him

Picture Shows:  Oti Mabuse, Bill Bailey - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Picture Shows: Oti Mabuse, Bill Bailey - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

Bill Bailey is under pressure to save Christmas for his mates, who are betting on him to triumph in Strictly Come Dancing.

The comedian has surprised BBC One viewers with his skills in the ballroom, winning high scores with his dance partner Oti Mabuse.

Read more: JJ Chalmers going for war wound surgery after Strictly

He has been the dark horse of the competition for many, but Bailey told The Sun that there was a lot riding on him getting to the final.

Bailey said: “There has been quite some betting going on. It’s mainly my friends.

“They keep texting me every week when we get through, saying, ‘Well done, Bill, keep going, we’re betting on you’.

“There will be a lot of people that I will be paying for Christmas if I make it all the way. I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders.”

Bailey, 55, is the oldest celebrity left in the competition and despite having started at 33-1 to win, he is now odds-on favourite to take the glitterball home - proving he’s anything but the joke act.

Watch: Ranvir Singh denies Giovanni Pernice romance

In tonight’s live show, he is due to dance the Argentine Tango, which he is hoping will propel him towards the grand final in two weeks time.

Still in the contest alongside him are HRVY, Maisie Smith, Ranvir Singh, Jamie Laing and JJ Chalmers.

Bailey’s partner Mabuse won Strictly last year when she danced with Kelvin Fletcher, a stand-in who joined the show late when Jamie Laing had to drop out injured after the launch show.

Laing has returned this year to partner Karen Hauer.

Watch: Shirley Ballas makes the call on who goes home