Journalist Angela Rippon trades news for the ballroom! Set to compete in season 21 of Strictly Come Dancing, the 78-year-old will be the oldest contestant to compete in this year’s line-up, and she’s already showing us how it’s done. Speaking exclusively for HELLO! Angela teased what’s next, and it seems she’s already won the high kick, as well as the takedowns.
© GettyAngela spoke exclusively to HELLO! about season 21 of Strictly Come Dancing
In a recent interview, tough judge Shirley Ballas was the one to rave about Angela, hinting that we’ll be seeing some incredible moves from the TV star. Responding to her comments, Angela said yes HELLO!: “The fact that I can do a high kick is because I’m so flexible because I know you have to be ready for the job you’re doing.
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“The most recent thing I did that required real endurance was when I worked at the Queen’s funeral. I was on air at 3am on television and finished at 4.30pm, 1pm, and you can’t do that if you’re not in shape .”
She continued: “I know people don’t describe people as fit just because you’re sitting. Well I mean, I think that’s what you know is really nice about her [Shirley] if I said that, but the fact that I can do splits and high kicks is like a party trick, if you’re doing a Rumba or a Cha-Cha-Cha, it’s a really lovely waltz and tango that requires you to dance.”
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As for how she feels about being one of the older contestants in this year’s series, Angela really does feel that age is just a number.
“I don’t really think much about my age. I really don’t,” she said. “It’s a number on a piece of paper. As far as I’m concerned. I’ve met a lot of older ladies who say, ‘Oh, we’re so glad you’re doing this.’
© Shutterstock Age is just a number for Angela
“I was in Waitrose at the till filling up my groceries and the lady next to me in the queue said ‘I just want to say that all my friends, we say that women of our age and our hair color are very often invisible.’ So yeah, so I’m not thinking about my age, I was just thinking about whether I can make the steps.”
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In a sweet full-circle moment, Angela, who has been a regular on our TV screens for over 50 years, previously hosted the original version of Strictly – a show called Come Dancing which ran from 1988 to 1991 before returning briefly in 1998.
© Shutterstock Angela Rippon presents Come Dancing in 1988
“I didn’t dance in Coming Dancing, I was the host,” Angela recalled. “But what’s nice is that I missed so many people in the Come Dancing family. The senior choreographer here was a competitor, when I introduced him, one of the dancers told me he was a dancer because he talked his mom into staying up and is watching the show, and several other dancers have said that their teachers were competitors when I was presenting it. So it’s quite nice to have that combination. Now I find myself, of course not presenting, but on the other side.
Angela added: “It’s a whole different challenge. Pretending I was in charge, I’m not anymore.”
Links: Strictly star Angela Rippon, 78, talks taking on splits and high kicks – Tekmonk Bio, Strictly star Angela Rippon, 78, talks taking on splits and high kicks – Kungfutv, Strictly star Angela Rippon, 78, talks taking on splits and high kicks – Hot News