Lesley Joseph Strictly Exclusive: 'I was picked for comedy value - but it backfired'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Lesley Joseph is insisting that producers chose her for Strictly Come Dancing to be the comical older woman.

But she exclusively told Yahoo Celeb that their decision ‘bit them’ as she actually turned out to be rather good.

The 71-year-old actress – the oldest female star to ever take part in the show – also said that her age may have been a factor in her elimination.

Lesley and her partner Anton Du Beke became the fifth couple to leave the hit BBC competition last week after losing out to Daisy Lowe and Aljaž Škorjanec in the dance-off.

Lesley Joseph feels like she was hired to be the old comical woman on Strictly Come Dancing (PA)
Lesley Joseph feels like she was hired to be the old comical woman on Strictly Come Dancing (PA)

Speaking at chocolatier Paul A Young’s charity book launch, in aid of the Children’s Air Ambulance, Lesley admitted age does matter in Strictly.

She said: “I think I was hired to be the older comical act and I think it bit them slightly. I’ve done musicals half of my life and I pick up things really quickly.

‘It is what is, but the more opportunities older people are given to show their skills the more we can challenge the show’s stereotypes. Strictly wasn’t a challenge, it was just a job really!

Lesley added: “I had an amazing time training with Anton and I’m very sad that I didn’t get to stay on and do the jive as I learnt it and did it in half a hour.

“It was a great experience but I do wish it had gone on longer, I’m going to be honest. I would have loved to got to Blackpool and I’m disappointed that I haven’t.”

Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph joined chocolatier Paul A Young as he launched his new recipe book in aid of the Children’s Air Ambulance (PA)
Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph joined chocolatier Paul A Young as he launched his new recipe book in aid of the Children’s Air Ambulance (PA)

Despite receiving praise for her youthful energy from the public and her fellow contestants, Lesley admits she had to have a thick skin to deal with the judges harsh criticism.

She said: “The Strictly judges don’t know me and didn’t know what I can do. I’m so used to training everyday that my body is going through withdrawal symptoms at the minute.”

Lesley is placing her bets on BBC Sport presenter Ore Oduba to scoop the prestigious glitter ball trophy, saying: “I would like to see Ore win the show, as there is some trained dancers and some not trained dancers.

“Everybody is lovely but I would love Ore to win it because he loves it and is putting his soul into it.”

Lesley is tipping Ore Oduba to scoop this year's Strictly Glitter Ball trophy (PA)
Lesley is tipping Ore Oduba to scoop this year’s Strictly Glitter Ball trophy (PA)

The iconic actress, who is well known for her role as Dorien Green in Birds Of A Feather, has just wrapped up filming the Christmas special of the show which she says is set to be a corker for fans.

Lesley said: “The show will come out at some point over Christmas but we don’t know when. I can’t give away much but it’s going to be a caper of a show. It was a great fun to film and if it works it’s going to be brilliant.”

We’re counting down the days already!

We'll be seeing Lesley resurrecting her role as Dorian Green in A Birds of A Feather Christmas special (PA)
We’ll be seeing Lesley resurrecting her role as Dorian Green in A Birds of A Feather Christmas special (PA)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting