Angela Rippon shares key demand she told Strictly bosses before Kai Widdrington pairing

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington have been paired together for the 2023 series

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 26/09/2023

- 00:01

This year's Strictly Come Dancing kicked off with a bang this past weekend

Angela Rippon has shed light on her partnership with Kai Widdrington now the pair have taken to the Strictly dancefloor for the first time.

At 78, Rippon is the oldest contestant in the show's history but her debut Cha Cha with Widdrington on Saturday proved she wasn't letting her age hold her back.

The pair's chemistry has been evident for all to see, both during the live shows and on social media where they regularly update their fans from rehearsals.

Widdrington even managed to keep things upbeat last week when Rippon admitted she'd grown "angry" at herself for "mucking up" their practice.

Rippon has now spoken out about her relationship with Widdrington and expressed her delight that bosses decided to pair them together.

"I love him already," she began to Radio Times. "We clicked when we met for the launch show at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington blew the audience away with their first routine of the series


"We laughed all through our first meeting. I’m a very happy bunny that it’s Kai."

Revealing the behind the scenes demand she'd made regarding her partner, Rippon opened up: "I told the producers, 'I need someone strong, patient and with a sense of humour.'

"He’s got all those qualities, and he’s a brilliant dancer and choreographer."

WATCH HERE: GB News panel on Rippon Strictly debut

And it wasn't just Widdrington that Rippon was full of praise for as she added: "He and his partner, Nadiya Bychkova, are both fabulous."

Sadly for Bychkova, BBC bosses decided to avoid pairing her up with a celebrity face this year - something her former celeb partner Dan Walker was vocal in criticising.

The same goes for Neil Jones who has been forced to watch on from the sidelines yet again while the 15 pairings take to the floor.

Rippon's impressive Strictly debut has certainly landed her in prime position to avoid elimination during the show's first vote-off this Saturday.

Sadly for the likes of Les Dennis, the same can't be said as he's propping up the leaderboard with a score of 16.

Angela Rippon splits

Angela Rippon's split move prompted raucous applause


Rippon and Widdrington ended up in sixth place on the leaderboard following their Cha Cha to the track Get This Party Started.

However, the night belonged to former EastEnders star and Casualty actor Nigel Harman.

The 50-year-old topped the leaderboard with what the judges branded as the best dance of the evening alongside his partner Katya Jones.

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