Strictly Come Dancing loves to throw an EastEnders star out of their comfort zone every year, and in 2020 it’s the turn of Maisie Smith.
But why has she already caused controversy before Strictly has even started?
Who is Maisie Smith?
Maisie Smith, 19, is best known for playing Tiffany Butcher in EastEnders. She is now one of the celebs taking part in Strictly 2020.
Maisie grew up on Westcliff-on-Sea with her mum and dad and sister Scarlett. She attended the local Belfairs Academy and the Sandra Singer Stage School and later the South Essex College where she immersed herself in musical theatre.
In 2006, she was cast in the film The Other Boleyn Girl as the young Elizabeth 1. She also appeared in CITV show Bookaboo in which she read Stinky by Ian Whybrow.
When did she first appear in EastEnders?
Maisie was a child star and joined the cast of the BBC soap in 2008 at the tender age of six. In spite of her youth, she was a feisty young actress who, her mum said at the time, wasn’t too far removed from the role of Tiffany.
She said: “The role is an exaggeration of her own personality, she’s a little madam. She’s a lively character both on and off screen. The difference is, she’s told to pronounce her T’s at home!
“She is not star-struck at all and has her feet very firmly on the ground. She is an extremely confident child and a great actress.”
Maisie was on the show until 2014, then took some time out, briefly returned in November 2016, before coming back full time in January 2018.
She once said of being on the iconic soap: “I love being on EastEnders. I really [got] on with Patsy who plays my mum. She looks after me so well. It’s like I’m her real daughter some days. Everyone is really nice. I’m glad I get to be cheeky and say some funny lines. I would never want to be a goody goody. It’s strange people point at me in the street now. All my friends think it’s great I’m on television. I think I will want to be an actress forever now.”
Does she enjoy fame?
Being in a soap as popular as EastEnders, Maisie has experienced the various reactions of the public and press.
She said: “Sudden fame can be tricky when you are just out having fun and people keep wanting to take your photo, but the EastEnders people are very supportive and have said that we can politely say no in situations where we feel uncomfortable.
“I am very glad that my break came with EastEnders, as they are like a family who look after you. Working on the show has given me the chance to learn so much from the actors, especially those who are in my TV family.”
Does Maisie sing?
In October 2016, Maisie released her first single, Good Thing. Far from being a song as cheesy as Anita Dobson’s Anyone Can Fall In Love, the track and the other songs on the EP were dance-floor anthems and considered cool.
Maisie has said a lot of her songs were personal and “wanted to write a song that inspired others”.
Has Maisie been on Strictly before?
Er… kind of. In 2019, she performed the Cha-Cha with Kevin Clifton on Strictly’s Children In Need special. Was she any good? Well, she went and won the whole thing, so that’d be a yes.
However, modest Maisie, who let’s not forget studied musical theatre, insisted during an appearance on This Morning that her win was a “fluke”, denying she has any “technical ability”.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’ve got dancing experience. I’ve done a bit of hip-hop in my time, but I have no technical ability at all,” she admitted. “So I was very lucky on that week, but who knows, I could be a dark horse!”
Due to her win, Maisie is now the hot favourite to scoop the 2020 glitterball.
Has Maisie won any awards?
Yes, Maisie is a rather accomplished actress and has scooped a number of awards.
In May 2009, she won Best Dramatic Performance from a Young Actor or Actress at the British Soap Awards.
She was nominated for the same award a year later but lost out to Ami Metcalf from Doctors. Maisie was nominated at the British Soap Awards in 2018 for Best Young Actor, but lost out to Isobel Steele who plays Liv Flaherty in Emmerdale.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on October 17
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