Erin Boag shares her thoughts on Strictly 2019 and a new show with Anton Du Beke
PUBLISHED: 14:50 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:50 04 November 2019
As Strictly Come Dancing kicks off on our screens, Erin Boag, who competed in 10 series, talks to Sarah Rodi about her new show with Anton Du Beke, and her predictions for the Strictly contestants this year
Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag, the nation's favourite ballroom couple, have announced their brand-new show for 2020. "We are doing a Dance Those Magical Movies tour, which celebrates 12 years of us touring together. It starts in January and runs until March, and we'll be travelling all around the country," says Erin. "I'm extremely excited."
The production, filled with Hollywood glamour, is set to the music that made it big on the silver screen - basically Anton and Erin's take on their favourite film musicals. "Braveheart is probably my favourite film ever, but we couldn't really include that in the show! But there will be some dances to hits from The Greatest Showman, and James Bond... Anton Du Bond," she laughs.
There will also be classics from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Singin' In The Rain and The Wizard of Oz through to songs from blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge.
Born in New Zealand, Erin started dancing aged three. She moved to Australia at 18 to pursue her dancing ambitions and by 1996, Erin had moved to the UK to follow her dream and soon started her dance partnership with Anton Du Beke. They went on to win many international competitions, including titles in the UK, New Zealand and Canada. This year, they are celebrating the 22nd year of their dance partnership.
Erin is involved in the look of their tour, as well as co-hosting the show and showcasing her dance skills. The show will also feature a 'Q and A' section, providing some fun interaction with the audience.
"Our costume maker is the same person who designs the costumes for Strictly Come Dancing, and I can't wait to see all the sparkles," says Erin. "We have a 23-piece concert orchestra [under the baton of Richard Balcombe] that travels with us, as well as eight professional dancers who are all brilliant. Lance Ellington, the Strictly vocalist, will be singing for us too. Everything's set."
When I ask her if she is looking forward to coming to Berkshire on her tour, she admits she has been known to visit Windsor Castle on occasion. "Also, Anton and I flew over Windsor Castle at the time of Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding. We saw hundreds of people lining the streets - it was an incredible sight," she says.
"But my favourite place in Berkshire is the Berkshire Ballroom. It's fantastic. I'm actually there in three weeks time to run a workshop. If you want to dance, the Berkshire Ballroom is the place to go."
Erin competed in 10 series of Strictly Come Dancing, hanging up her Strictly boots after the 2012 series to start her family with businessman Peter O'Dowd. But she continues to do her bit for Strictly. It Takes 2 sees her taking over 'choreography corner' on several occasions. "It's fun to do it with Zoe Ball and Rylan," she says.
So how does she juggle it all with being Mum to Ewan, now five? "I'm the same as a lot of working mothers, trying to do it all! That's why I gave up Strictly," she says. "It's a seven-day-a-week job, from August to December. You have to travel to wherever your celebrity is. And I just decided not to juggle that with looking after my son, so I said thank you very much but no thank you to Strictly. Now when I go on tour, my mum comes over from New Zealand to help. You just have to make it work."
There are certain things she misses about doing the show though. "I still get all the gossip from Anton, but I miss having that relationship with your partner as you form such a strong friendship," she says. "I also miss the adrenalin rush of hearing your name being announced and walking down those stairs. It's an amazing feeling."
Of course, I want to grill her on her predictions for this year's contestants. "You need to reserve judgement and wait a few weeks before you decide who you think will win, although you can tell instantly if someone can dance," she says. "On first impressions, I thought Mike Bushell was hilarious. I don't know him, but I have seen him on breakfast news. He's terrible at the sports he tries, but he always gives it 100%. He's probably going to be terrible at dancing too, but I think the audience will look forward to seeing what he comes up with every week."
Anton's reaction to being partnered with Emma Barton was amazing... "Anton has loved each and every one of his partners," says Erin. "A lot of them couldn't dance, but he still loved them all and had a wonderful time. I think the audience got what he meant. He's been in 16 series and it's about time he was partnered with someone who can move.
"Now Kevin and Anneka Rice; he has never had an older partner. It will be a challenge for him. "CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual and Amy will be interesting to watch. Karim seems young and bubbly and looks like he can move.
"Johannes Radebe with ex-Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley... He's a cracking dancer and she's elegant. She could go far.
"Former England footballer Alex Scott and Neil; it depends on her feet. She's used to wearing football boots with studs; now she's got to stick on some heels. She's in great shape though. Neil will be going all out to win, I'm sure."
There's no doubt Strictly will be another fantastic series, and with Anton and Erin's tour to look forward to as well, it's set to be an exciting few months.
Anton & Erin... Dance Those Magical Movies comes to The Hexagon in Reading on 14 March 2020, plus various other venues around the country - antonanderinlive.co.uk