EXCLUSIVE The Wanted’s Tom Parker: ‘We Told Strictly’s Jay McGuiness To Forget Dancing’

Slowly but surely Jay McGuiness has been winning over the hearts of the nation as he competes on BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, with his moves on the dancefloor impressing viewers and judges alike.

And four cheerleaders that Jay can definitely depend on backing him are his former The Wanted bandmates, with Tom Parker being full of praise for his pal when we caught up with him last week.

Tom admits that he’s spent the past year hidden away in the studio as he works on his new music, coming back to the scene as a producer, but now that he has perfected his sound he is back in the game and we couldn’t resist nabbing him for an exclusive chat at the very swanky Lights Of Soho.

Speaking about Jay’s mass success on Strictly, Tom told us that although fans of the show might have been surprised by the star’s talent, his bandmates were already more than aware - although they had told him to forget about dancing when they first hit the music scene.

The star explained: “Jay’s good, isn’t he? When we were in the band I vividly remember Brian Friedman coming to do some choreography with us before we released our first record and Jay could move and we were all terrible.

“Brian told the label we should never dance and we told Jay to pan the dancing, so he had to dumb himself down. I didn’t realise he was that good though.

“He’s literally really good, I think Jay is one of the best dancers that Strictly has ever had - I’m super proud of him. I’m seeing Max [George] next week and we are going to watch Jay.”

Tom also hit back at the romance rumours surrounding Jay and his Strictly professional dancer, Aliona Vilani, telling us: “I know Jay and I know he would never do anything like that to anyone. He’s vegetarian - he wouldn’t hurt a fly!

“Jay is a very loving person, he’s just really touchy and he’ll just grab you and hug you, he’s just naturally like that.

“I actually spoke to him about Aliona, like: ‘Mate, have you seen all the press?’ and he was like: ‘I know, it’s a joke.’

“He knows Aliona’s partner, he would never do anything like that, but I was glad to hear it from him.”

And although Tom is seriously impressed with Jay’s reality show efforts, he admitted that it hasn’t tempted him to do any more shows after reaching the Masterchef semi-finals earlier this year.

He shared: “Masterchef didn’t approach me, I approached them because I really want to do it; I’m a massive Masterchef fan.

“I approached them and I love cooking… I’ll do a TV show if it’s something I’m interested in but right now I’m focused on being in the studio and making music.

“I just really want to get out there with a new career and let people know that I was in a boyband and have people think that it was cool. It will be hard but I’m prepared to be in it for the long run and just go with it.

“I know that there will be a lot of stereotypes and a lot of people won’t listen to me because of who I am; it’s going to be tough but I’m prepared for the challenge.

“I’ve been buried away in the studio for the last year, which has been quite nice. Just taking time to reevaluate what I want to do with my career and where I want to go.

“It’s been nice to just come back to reality and spend time at home with my dogs and girlfriend.”

And despite his new sound being widely praised by his fans, Tom also revealed that he was seriously nervous about debuting his new music, adding: “When you’re in a pop band, fans love you and your voice and they want to hear you sing so it’s a big step for me not to be singing on records.

“I’ll sing a bit, so there will be times where I will sing some stuff but I think you need to distinguish what you are as an artist and that’s ultimately a producer and to make music.

“It was a shock to some people and I think that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to shock people and do something a bit different.

“I do miss being in a band and I think everyone else in the band would be lying if they said they didn’t because you do become brothers.”

Well, we’re just happy to know that the boys are still all in touch with one another - in a band or not.

Good to have you back, Tom - we had missed you.

Check Out Tom Parker’s New Music On Soundcloud Now