Angela Rippon's 'perfect' Strictly partner exposed as ex-pro highlights key feature needed for duo

Angela Rippon's 'perfect' Strictly partner exposed as ex-pro highlights key feature needed for duo
Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 12/09/2023

- 06:02

The TV presenter will become the oldest ever Strictly contestant when she takes to the dancefloor this year

Angela Rippon is hoping to set the ballroom alight when she performs for the Strictly judges and members of the public soon.

At 78, she's the oldest competitor to take part in the BBC contest but she's determined not to let her age prove a hinderance.

Of course, it isn't just down to the celebs who'll determine how far they get in the competition with their professional partners tasked with choreography and mentoring throughout.

So who would be best for Rippon's chances? GB News caught up with two men in the know in the form of pro dancers Ian Waite and Vincent Simone to find out.

And there was one Strictly stalwart who both thought would be ideal to take Rippon through week after week.

"Anton [du Beke]!" Simone said when asked who Rippon would be best paired with, prompting Waite to agree: "Yes, Anton would've been perfect for her."

However, since leaving his role as a pro dancer on the show, du Beke serves solely as a judge - meaning Waite and Simone had to look elsewhere.

Waite weighed up his options before reeling off what show bosses would have to consider in order to ensure Rippon got the right partner.

This year's Strictly line-up

Angela Rippon alongside her Strictly Come Dancing co-stars


"You know, Angela's not small, she's quite tall so she'll want a tall partner I would have thought," Waite said.

"So somebody nurturing like a Johannes [Radebe] type of partner or Graziano [di Prima] I think would be great with Angela because they would be tall, they would encourage her and I think she'd do well with them.

"I think the producers are very mindful of putting certain personalities together.

"So they'll make sure that if Angela needs somebody who is very nurturing and intelligent, and will give her the sort of inspiration that she needs."

The duo was also asked how much of a factor Rippon's age may play given she'll bag the accolade of oldest competitor at 78.

"Yeah, it's not easy, because, I mean, we've watched the show (and) we were in it, you get the younger ones (and) obviously, physically, they can do things that unfortunately at old age (you can't)," Simone explained.

"You will be more restricted. So it all depends," he added but he still had high hopes for Rippon as he went on: "I mean, she will do quite well, because she's loved by the nation, but also depends on her professional partner to be clever, because that's what we need to think of when we get a celebrity.

"We need to push her potential (and) her strong points towards our choreographies and stuff.

"So it's up to the professional to work out some magic with her."

Waite weighed back in to insist it's about time Rippon proved doubters wrong: "I think it is about time we had somebody older who went the distance and went to the final.

"It tends to be just the young ones that end up making the final," he continued. "And I know it is quite grueling and towards the end it does become basically like a marathon.

"It's like the strongest ones and the ones that can keep going till the end stay in.

"So I'm just hoping that they can pace themselves and and she can do really well it'd be great, it'd be great to see."

Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon was one of the first stars unveiled as a Strictly 2023 contestant


While Waite and Simone may no longer be a part of the line-up of Strictly professionals, the pair are continuing to entertain crowds during their ongoing tour, The Magic of Dance.

Both Simone and Waite are still performing on the dancefloor but this time as part of their new tour, The Magic of Dance.

Speaking all about the show and what fans can expect, Simone said: "For me, it's the perfect night out. I mean, we've done already three shows and the audience loves it!

"It's a variety show, so you get amazing dancing, then we have an amazing singer, Jai McDowell, who is an ex-champion of Britain's Got Talent - we're very lucky and blessed to have someone like him!

"But then also we bring comedy, myself and Ian, we have a bit of storytelling from the past, we do have some funny numbers when one of us is going to dress up and mix and match.

"So all in all, the audience gets real entertainment and it's an amazing night out - ever for the husbands. So ladies, please bring your husbands."

The pair are touring throughout September across the country with tickets still available for venues in Blackburn, Lancaster, Rugby, Newbridge, Stamford, Darlington, Burton-on-Trent, Eastbourne, Middlesbrough, Barnstaple, Epsom, and Felixstowe.

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