Strictly Come Dancing winner Bill Bailey inspired by Christmas lockdown and late mum

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 December 2020
Oti Mabuse and Bill Bailey

Oti Mabuse and Bill Bailey

'Strictly' champion Bill Bailey admitted knowing he couldn't see his dad at Christmas - and memories of his late mum - inspired him in the grand final

Bill Bailey admitted knowing he couldn't see his dad at Christmas inspired him in the 'Strictly Come Dancing' final.

The 55-year-old comedian and pro partner Oti Mabuse won the BBC Latin and ballroom competition on Saturday night (19.12.20) hours after new restrictions were brought in place in England meaning many people can't see their loved ones over the festive period.

Speaking to fellow 'Strictly' star Ranvir Singh on ITV's Lorraine, he said: "We heard during the day about the new restrictions, and about the fact that my dad, who's been on his own isolating since March – we were looking forward to seeing him at Christmas.

"We thought, 'Oh no, we can't do that now, he's gonna be on his own'. There was a lot of that going on as well, and it almost made me want to give even more in the performance, in a way."

Bill also remembered his late mum – who sadly died 15 years ago – on the day of his big win, and revealed she wanted him to take up dancing as a youngster.

He added: "I did think about her a lot on the day because she loved ballroom dancing. In fact, she wanted me to take it up when I was a kid.

"She actually got me to have a couple of lessons when I was a teenager, but of course, I was a teenager, I just thought 'Ah I don't wanna do ballroom dancing'.

"But I know that she would have been so proud, and it reminded me of that. I thought, 'Yes, this would have been her proudest moment.' "

Meanwhile, the star admitted he is feeling "great" after the intense competition, but his "toes" are still playing up.

He laughed: "The toes are still on strike! I don't know what's up with them. They just decided to give up, I think.

"You know what it's like, it's relentless. I feel great actually. I feel a little bit stiff of leg and arm, but otherwise, great!"

It could have been worse for Bill, who revealed that before the final he almost set fire to the studio after kicking over a pyrotechnic box, "tripping over that" and almost falling "down the stairs".

He said: "I kicked over one of the pyrotechnic boxes, tripped over that, nearly fell down the stairs. We can't be left alone for a second!

"I just thought that would be a great way to start the show – 'Bill Bailey's ignited his own trousers'. A firework goes off, I fall over, set fire to the studio."

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