Strictly Come Dancing 2017 is now well underway, with a record 10.2 million fans flocking to BBC to watch the very first episode of the series this past weekend.
Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman returned to their posts as presenters too, to witness the first dances from this year’s set of nervous celebrities.
But it appears that Tess, now the longest running host of the show, is keeping her eye out for something else besides dancing ability this time around.
Although its still early days, rumours of romance for two of the Strictly contestants have been circulating continuously – especially for young singletons Mollie King and Gemma Atkinson.
Tess commented on the romance rumours, saying, “I live for romance. I don’t get out much, you see! I guess it’s pretty inevitable when you think about the close physical contact going on for at least seven hours a day. I’ve got my eye on a couple of them who are free and single and perhaps looking.”
So who might she mean? She explain, “Mollie’s single. Ooh, Gemma [Atkinson] is too – great! So we’ve got two gorgeous girls and a few gorgeous men – Gorka, Giovanni, AJ…
“I’m not match-making here, honest! AJ is so adorable. My daughters are like: ‘Ahh, AJ!’ and clutch their hands to their chest. He looks like a Disney prince.”
But what does she really think of the so-called Strictly curse? The rumoured curse strikes almost every year – causing relationships to bloom between dancers and contestants, while others disintegrate.
However, it seems Tess isn’t quite buying it. She said, “I’m not going to buy into the whole curse thing because I just see people having the best time of their lives and changing, getting physically fit and finding a new passion.”
But, the presenter did recognise the magic the Strictly experience can bring contestants – saying “I can’t speak for people who have been through the experience, but I do understand it’s a pretty transformative process.
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“You’re seeing muscles you never knew existed, you start eating food that’s better suited. People are doing something for themselves, learning a new discipline, and they have such a brilliant time, so…”
Her comments are consistent with the latest ‘Strictly curse’ relationship casualty – Louise and Jamie Redknapp, who have parted ways since Louise was on the show.
Rumours suggest that Louise’s Strictly experience helped open her up to a brand new world, after being a stay-at-home mum for the best part of ten years. And reportedly, it’s this new-found freedom that has lead her to reconsider matters with her husband.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Tess’ predictions for this year come true…