Strictly: Bill Bailey says ‘most of his clothes don’t fit anymore’

Bill Bailey and Oti Mabuse joined Rylan Clark Neal on It Takes Two this evening to discuss how training was going ahead of their own dances this weekend. Ever since signing up to Strictly Come Dancing, the comedian has been working day and night to prepare for the live routines, from study the dance to watching footage of him rehearsing in order to get better, and he is arguable to the most-improved contestant in the 2020 series going from 15 points in week one to his highest score of 27 points three weeks later. As a result of his hard work, Bill is suffering – physically – and his professional dance partner has opened up on the physiotherapy he has been receiving every week. 

Rylan began the conversation with: “We have to say we did notice you [Oti] on social media. You said some lovely things; you said ‘we sometimes forget it gets harder and harder for a non-professional, but Bill never complains.’” 

“He doesn’t, he honestly doesn’t,” she replied. “And I constantly ask him, and now I know what he means when he answers me and has pain in the knees or the legs or the foot or the toes, he says they fall asleep. 

“I don’t know if I believe that yet. But he would never tell me, I would have to hear it from physio or someone like that. He never says she’s tired.” 

“I love how Oti wants the proof, Oti wants the receipts.,” Rylan joked. 

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“He never says anything that’s the thing,” the professional dancer continued. 

“So when I say ‘are you sure you don’t need physio he goes ’no, no, no’. And I go ‘okay, I’m going to force you to go get checked.’” 

“He is a trooper,” the host remarked and Oti added: “Because he pushes on. He never gets tired, for the last two weeks he’s been out-dancing me.

“[I say] ‘I need to go home’ and I love that. He has this will, he is really putting in the passion of the hours.” 

“It’s showing in the performances,” Rylan said. 

On Saturday night, Bill takes on the Tango and Charleston as the competition heats up. 

“You are doing two dances, first one up is a Tango to Metallica,” Rylan commented. “This is a mosh-pit kind of song. It doesn’t scream Tango to me but it’s kind of working?” 

“Well, it’s got great drama to it, it’s a fantastic, powerful piece of music and I think it suits the Tango perfectly,” Bill explained. 

Oti added: “It does. Like he said, the last couple of weeks, we have both been really nervous, but this week, it’s the semi-finals, you just want to have fun. 

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“Both of us are very shocked we are here – but we are loving it. We are coming from a place ‘if this is the last one, let’s go out with a bang.’” 

“Well, your second song choice is very close to home, because it’s this,” Rylan introduced as the music played. 

“It’s Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey, this is a perfect song for a Charleston. How’s it coming along?” 

“It’s such a fun dance,” Bill replied. “There’s lots of kicking, we’re having the best fun. It’s brilliant! 

“There’s the jumps, kicks and flicks – it’s a bit goofy, it’s a lot of fun.” 

“He loves the song especially,” Oti remarked and Bill added: “This song  – this is why I’m called Billy Bailey.” 

“His name is not Bill Bailey,” his partner revealed. 

“No, my name is Mark, but when I was at school the teachers said ‘why won’t you come home Bill Bailey’ and this was when I was seven or eight and it’s stuck!” Bill commented. 

Strictly Come Dancing’s semi-final airs on Saturday night on BBC One and It Takes Two airs weekday evenings at 6.30pm on BBC Two. 

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