Tyler West says Blackpool Strictly performance will be ‘cherry on the cake’

Tyler West said getting to perform in Blackpool with Strictly Come Dancing will be the “cherry on top of the cake” of his experience on the show so far.

The Kiss FM radio DJ, 26, will be among the eight remaining celebrity contestants and their dance partners competing in the Tower Ballroom on Saturday as the BBC show returns to the seaside town after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

West narrowly secured a place for the special show after he landed in the dreaded dance-off last week against Tony Adams – but was given a free pass after the former England footballer was forced to withdraw through injury.

Strictly Come Dancing 2022
Tyler West and Dianne Buswell will perform a salsa to Megamix by KC & The Sunshine Band as they take to the dance floor in Blackpool (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

On the upcoming performance, West said: “It is such a surreal feeling. I feel so lucky.

“And it just also feels like a bit of relief, knowing that you put in all those hours to get you to this point in the show, and then you’re able to go through and put the performance in Blackpool ballroom, and it’s going to be mad – honestly, the best thing ever.”

The presenter added: “I think it’s like being part of that sort of magical moment. It finally feels like we’re back in our stride, back to sort of some normality, sort of post-pandemic.

“So it feels like this is like the cherry on top of the cake, to be honest.

“Just thinking that some boy from South London estate is now dancing in front of millions, it’s a surreal feeling but then to be going to Blackpool is a bit monumental.”

West and his partner Dianne Buswell will perform a salsa to Megamix by KC & The Sunshine Band as they take to the dance floor in a bid to impress the judges.

West hinted his performance will involve “everyone moving and grooving”.

Buswell added: “We are doing a salsa and it’s like we’re on a soul train.”

The Australian dancer, who joined Strictly in 2017, has only danced once before at Blackpool – in 2018 with her partner Joe Sugg, who was a finalist that year.

She said: “We did it and it’s a really special memory in my head because it was the first time Joe got a 10 (score) and he cried (and) teared up and (I had) never seen that side of him before.”

Buswell said she probably knows more about Blackpool than many people living in the UK.

“I grew up in Australia but I knew about Blackpool because it’s so renowned for ballroom dancing and I never forget begging my mom, ‘Please can we go to Blackpool, mum?'”, she recalled.

“But obviously it was a little bit too far from Australia and, you know, quite expensive so mum would always (say), ‘We can’t go.'”

She added: “It feels like six-year-old Diane is getting that dream that she always wanted because it’s just such a place for ballroom dancers to go.”

West said he feels “nerves” because he cares but generally feels more “excitement” once he is on stage.

“This is a completely different discipline for me,” he added. “I’ve never danced like this before ever and it’s going out there and putting on a show in front of millions.”

Strictly Come Dancing
Ann Widdecombe and Anton Du Beke during the Strictly Come Dancing Blackpool show in 2010 (PA)

Blackpool has provided some memorable Strictly moments over the years, including former shadow chancellor Ed Balls’ entrance in 2016, when he was lowered from the ceiling playing a piano before taking to the dancefloor to jive with Katya Jones.

Another standout dance saw Ann Widdecombe do the samba alongside professional partner Anton Du Beke, both dressed in bright yellow, with the former Tory MP earning the night’s lowest score of 13 out of 40, in 2010.

The remaining couples will take to the dance floor at the Tower on Saturday November 19 at 7.45pm, with the results show on Sunday November 20 at 7.20pm on BBC One.