Strictly wrung me out and spat me out, says 2023 star

Angela Scanlon says Strictly Come Dancing was both 'hardcore' and 'magical'

Strictly Come Dancing's Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu
Strictly Come Dancing's Angela Scanlon and Carlos Gu. (BBC)

Strictly 2023 star Angela Scanlon has shone a light on the "hardcore" side of the BBC show.

The TV presenter, 40, waltzed her way through the competition and came in a respectable sixth place - the week before the quarter-finals - while learning to dance with professional dancer Carlos Gu. Having got so far in the competition, Scanlon revealed competing on Strictly was both "magical" and "hardcore".

She told Glad We Had This Chat with Caroline Hirons podcast: "Honestly, it was one of the most magical things I've ever done. I mean, it was hardcore, and I felt like I had been, you know, like a cloth wrung out and, you know, spat out the other side, but, you know, with not that much time, it really... Even in the moment, I knew how significant it was, really on a lot of different levels."

It wasn't a career move for Scanlon, instead, she said it was something she went into "selfishly" for herself. She added: "Obviously, there's, you know, very few shows that give you that amount of exposure and eyes and all of that stuff, so I was aware of that, but it was very much 'okay, I could go in and be absolutely s**t, and I'm okay with that."

Last year Scanlon and Gu lost out in the dance-off to Layton Williams and Nikita Kuzmin who would go on to make the final of Strictly Come Dancing. Shirley Ballas, the head judge, was the only one to vote to save Scanlon and Gu at the time, meaning they were sent home.

Following the exit, the dancing duo appeared on It Takes Two and Scanlon shared her "glorious" experience. She said on It Takes Two: "There’s been a few standout moments. I feel really grateful for them. In life, in this glorious madness, you can have a steady road, either middle of the road and have quite a smooth journey.

Strictly Come Dancing's Carlos Gu and Angela Scanlon dancing on the BBC show
Strictly Come Dancing's Carlos Gu and Angela Scanlon dancing on the BBC show. (BBC)

"I’ve always felt like those ups and downs are better for you to feel things deeply, whether that’s right down there or right up there. Charleston, week three and top of the leaderboard – this kind of took us totally by surprise and it was so joyful and glorious. The Argentine Tango in Blackpool, for me, which is possibly why this stings so much to come a week later."

After her exit, she also credited Gu for being "an absolutely unexpected gift". She wrote on Instagram at the time: "To dance every week was easy. To feel his belief and faith. To laugh. To pick each other up. To share food & ideas & vulnerability. To stand under the lights with this man’s arm around me, was easy. It feels somewhat premature & we had a lot more to give but to have met a soul that knows mine deeply, a heart that is as open, is an absolutely unexpected gift. I feel like the LUCKIEST @gkx_carlos you are my favourite x."

Her latest admission comes after Scanlon admitted she lied to get a job on The One Show. The presenter stepped up to the job when Alex Jones went on maternity leave from the BBC show in 2017. Looking back, Scanlon revealed how the lie had come about.

"He said ‘have you ever done studio?’ and I said ‘yeah I’ve done loads of it in Ireland’ which was a total lie," she told the Big Fish podcast with Spencer Matthews. "Then I went off to do Robot Wars and I got a call to say ‘they want you to fill in on The One Show’: I was on a train practising how to read autocue and I had no idea what I was doing."

Angela Scanlon pictured on The One Show
Angela Scanlon pictured on The One Show. (Getty)