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Daily Record
Rose Hill & Paul T Smith

BBC Strictly Come Dancing's Dan Walker says show 'isn't a dance competition' as he names 'unstoppable' winner

Channel 5 newsreader and former Strictly Come Dancing star Dan Walker has described the BBC show as "entertainment" rather than a competition, as he gave his opinion as to who he thinks will win this year.

Dan, 45, competed last year alongside pro partner Nadiya Bychkova and made it to the quarter finals.

The former BBC Breakfast host has also opened up about there being so many shock exits on the show this year.

Viewers have been left shocked this series after impressive dancers such as Fleur East, Molly Rainford and Kym Marsh have landed in the dance-off. The judges were also stunned when Richie Anderson was kicked out in week three despite impressing with his Lion King Samba.

"Well, it's not a dance competition is it? It's half a popularity contest, it's an entertainment show and it doesn't matter how good you are on the dance floor, you've got to connect with the audience," Dan told The Mirror.

"Look at how Tony [Adams] and Katya [Jones] have done - he's just been fantastic and I think he's got a few more weeks in him. It's just entertainment.

"At a time when we just need to sit down and watch telly and have a bit of fun, Tony provides that. Once people saw him as England captain, this brilliant footballer, trouble with alcohol at the end of his career and he's come through the other side and he's very thankful for that and what he can do with that.

"Listen, as someone who wasn't the best dancer, I can recognise someone who also wasn't the best dancer in the world - he's brilliant to watch and he's fantastic entertainment."

While Dan reckons there is a lot of good talent in this year's competition, there's one stand-out star - Hamza Yassin.

"This year I think there's been loads of the guys that I think [are good]. Helen's been fantastic, Helen Skelton. I think Graziano's done a brilliant job with Kym, Nikita's been so creative with Ellie Simmonds, Johannes and the other Ellie are a really good combination.

"There's some really good dancers but Hamza's unstoppable, he's going to win it. When the names on Strictly come out there's always some people who say, 'Who's that? Dunno who they are.' I think quite a few people have gone, 'I don't know who he is' to 'I would die for him!' in five weeks. And that's the magic of it!

"I think Jovita's done a lovely job with him and it's a great couple. Just to see him - who's a really humble man - growing into it and becoming a little bit more confident and he's just got so much talent. It's him or Helen who's going to win it."

Dan's definitely not got FOMO this year and is enjoying taking a step back to watch the show - and taking his younger daughter to the studio for the first time.

"I actually took my daughter last Saturday because she wasn't old enough to watch it when I was in it, so I want to take her for the first time," he said. "Her older sister went last year but she wasn't able to go. We went on Saturday and she loved it.

"She met lots of the people and Rose, last year's winner, who she found far more interesting than me anyway. It was such a lovely time. I've got no weird FOMO about doing it and then watching someone else do it. I just think that I had such a lovely time on the show that I'm more than happy to watch other people enjoying it.

"I genuinely expected to be there for two weeks and I was there for three months and I learnt so much from Nadiya. I think I probably helped her with telly and she helped me with being more confident on the dance floor and learning dance, which I thought was genuinely beyond my capabilities.

"I love telly so there's no bigger show than Strictly Come Dancing."

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