Strictly Come Dancing 2011: Interview with Anita Dobson
TV royalty Anita shot to fame playing Angie Watts, the original landlady of the Queen Vic. On Christmas Day 1985, a staggering 30 million people tuned in to see Angie receive divorce papers from Dirty Den – which still holds the record as the highest rating soap episode in history. More recently, the Olivier-nominated actress, who is married to rock royalty Brian May, has been seen in theatre productions including Hamlet and Calendar Girls. Will she take to the floor like she takes to the stage and be the queen of the dancefloor?
What made you decide to do the show?
All my life I’ve wanted to learn to ballroom dance. I’ve always had huge respect for dancers and it’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t train. I’m completely terrified of course but decided it was time to do it anyway. Time to go for it!
What are you looking for from your professional partner?
Someone who is a good teacher – who will teach me to learn to dance and make it fun and make it accessible for me to learn.
When you take to the dance floor will you be performing as Anita or do you plan to adopt a character? If so who, Ginger Rogers or Margot Fonteyn?
I don’t think you can really adopt a character of a dancer. I’m an actor, a wordsmith, and I work with words rather than anything physical. I’ll certainly try to adopt the attitude of the dance. I suppose it depends on my teacher, the better he is, the more I’ll be able to adapt. But this sort of thing exposes you much more as yourself. You can only adopt a bit of a character when you’re on the dancefloor.
Kara Tointon did a show-stopping routine to Don’t Stop Me Now in last year’s finale – do you plan to dance to any Queen songs in tribute to Brian?
I don’t plan to dance to anything – it’s all down to my partner really, who will choose the music they think best suits the routine. I like music that is evocative of different styles, I think that’s more important than just picking a pop song. But all those decisions are just down to my professional partner!