Published: 11:25, 05 April 2011
| Updated: 11:25, 05 April 2011
Strictly Come Dancing made Craig Revel Horwood a household name but the choreographer would leave the show at the drop of a hat if something better came along. As he brings a new show to Kent, he takes a few steps with Chris Price.
Brucie comes down the stairs, does a jig with Tess and then introduces the judges at the beginning of Strictly Come Dancing.
Yet one thing is missing – the aloof posture and snide comments of one Craig Revel Horwood.
Unthinkable? According to Craig, it will happen one day.
“I do not see myself doing Strictly forever and ever,” says Craig who has been on the show since its inception in 2004.
“I do not think the show will last that long. I cannot see myself still judging on it in 10 years. You have to move on and change. If you don’t then you get left behind.”
The Australian dancer, choreographer and theatre director is chatting to promote the new Neil Diamond show he is directing, starring Brian Conley, Darren Day and ex-Any Dream Will Do contestant Ben James-Ellis.
The show is coming to Kent on a national tour but it feels strange to think of Craig working outside his Strictly capacity.
Yet away from the cameras the one-time Celebrity Masterchef runner-up has had a career which has seen him choreograph Boublil and Schonberg’s Martin Guerre, Spend Spend Spend, Hot Mikado, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard and most recently direct a national tour of the West End and Broadway classic Chess.
“I’m a risk-taker,” the 46-year-old says enthusiastically. “I love Strictly because it is my Saturday job and not my career.
"If a better job like a movie came along, I would do that over Strictly. There is always a good time to leave and generally it is when you are at the top of your game.”
He listed Jill Halfpenny as his favourite female contestant and Mark Ramprakash as his favourite boy.
Perhaps his fellow judge Alesha Dixon, who won series five in 2007, innocently slipped his mind.
“It is fair to say my favourite judge is not Len because we do not see eye to eye,” he says laughing.
“He comes from a completely different background to me.
“We all get on after the show but on set the show is all about our differences.
"Len and I are different artistically. It makes for good TV.”
Craig has choreographed and directed the Neil Diamond tribute show Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, which will be performed inside a big top tent at Leeds Castle.
He grew up listening to songs like Sweet Caroline and Love On The Rocks as his mother was a big fan of the 70-year-old singer-songwriter.
“No one has ever had the rights to do the music before. We have three fantastic singers who can bring these songs to life. It should be good fun.”
Aside from the show, Craig is set to revive his pantomime role as The Wicked Queen in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs for a third time this year.
He will be performing at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre with last year’s Strictly favourite Ann Widdecombe, who he partnered on his year’s Strictly Come Dancing Live tour.
The ex-Maidstone MP will play the Wicked Queen’s servant the Widde In Waiting, reprising the feuds that were a must-watch on the last series of the Saturday night BBC show.
“I couldn’t direct with her but I do not fear having contestants like Ann on Strictly at all,” says Craig.
“The more who cannot dance the better it is. You can see the progression.
“If Ann had stayed in the show longer she would have got a four. She might even have learnt how to put one foot in front of the other.”
Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, will be at Leeds Castle from Tuesday, April 12, to Sunday, April 17.
Craig’s panto run alongside Ann Widdecombe at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre is set to begin on Friday, December 9.
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