Michelle Visage opens up about missing Strictly live tour

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Michelle Visage has said she is “gutted” she will not be part of the Strictly Come Dancing live tour next year.

The American singer and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge, who was the latest celebrity to be voted off the dance show, said she was not asked to take part in the arena tour, possibly due to a clash with dates.

Visage, 51, told ITV’s Lorraine: “I wanted to do it. I wasn’t asked to do it.

“I think there was a complication at the beginning with the dates. But at the end of the day it’s going to be a great tour, I am not going to be on it. I would love to.

“I’m gutted. But again it’s the way it goes.”

The tour will see former Strictly contestants Catherine Tyldesley and Mike Bushell perform across the country alongside remaining celebrities Alex Scott, Emma Barton, Karim Zeroual, Kelvin Fletcher and Saffron Barker in January and February.

Visage, who was partnered with Giovanni Pernice on Strictly, also dismissed rumours that she stormed out after being voted off the Blackpool-based show at the weekend.

She said: “Storm out of where? They said I stormed out of actual Blackpool! Did I go into the ocean? Where did I go? Did I go to Liverpool or Manchester?”

She said that she went to the post-show party “until about 3.30 in the morning and I was dancing all night with Neil (Jones), Alex, Oti (Mabuse) and Kelvin and Gio”.

Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice (Guy Levy/BBC)

“We were just having a really good time,” she added, saying that she thinks she is often the subject of rumours because “I’m American, I have a big mouth, I am a strong woman and people try and take you down”.

Referring to claims that she and Pernice had been embroiled in a feud behind the scenes, Visage said: “We had such an incredible relationship and this whole thing has been so much richer because of my partnership with Giovanni.

“I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else. I wanted him, I prayed to my mother or whoever else was looking out for me and I got the partner of my dreams. And we will continue dancing.

“I called him yesterday. He’s busy doing the pro stuff but I said, ‘any hours you have, can we go dancing?’”

Visage and Pernice were booted out in Sunday’s results show after facing YouTube star Barker and AJ Pritchard in the dance-off.

Strictly Come Dancing continues at 7pm on Saturday on BBC One.