Stacey Dooley has said taking part in Strictly Come Dancing has given her such a love for dance that she watches video of Shirley Ballas on her phone during tea breaks.
The documentary filmmaker is the bookies’ favourite to triumph in the live final, where she will compete against Joe Sugg, Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts to lift the glitterball trophy.
The broadcaster, who has made documentaries for the BBC about subjects including child labour and women in developing countries, said she was happy the series has given her the chance to show a different side of herself and now enjoys watching videos of the head judge when she was a Latin champion.
Read more: Stacey Dooley branded a backstage diva
She said: “The lovely thing for me personally is you’re able to have conversations with the general public about lighter, celebratory things.
“Sometimes work is so intense and can be so harrowing, it’s very serious and it has to be, the subjects are very dark a lot of time.
“So for me it’s just been people stopping me in Sainsbury’s saying ‘I loved your samba, when you had feathers coming out of every part of your body’.
“Or when they say: ‘I danced to that song at my wedding,’ and they are so invested and I have loved it.
“I really didn’t realise I would love it this much. I love dancing, I love ballroom dancing.
“Sometimes Kev walks in and I’m making a tea and watching ballroom dancing on my phone like a complete lunatic, or Shirley Ballas in the 80s, she was amazing.”
The four remaining couples will each perform three times during the glittering finale – a judges’ pick dance, their own favourite routine from the series and a new show dance.
The Strictly Come Dancing final airs tonight from 6.30pm on BBC1.
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