Strictly star Greg Wise reveals moving reason for he signed up for show and what wife Emma Thompson thinks
Greg Wise has revealed the moving reason behind his decision to sign up to Strictly Come Dancing.
The actor is known for his various film, television and theatre roles, including The Crown, Cranford, Walking on Sunshine and his breakout role in Sense and Sensibility.
He’ll join the likes of BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker, Peep Show’s Robert Wise, and Loose Women star Judi Love when the hit BBC One show returns this weekend.
After initially turning down the opportunity to star in the show, Greg thought of his sister, Clare Wise.
“I was asked and I thought, ‘No, I absolutely can’t do it’,” Greg said during a webinar with press including the Manchester Evening News.
“And then I thought about it. Almost exactly five years to the day my sister died will be the first day we do our routines on this and my sis was a real disco diva.
“She was the dancer in the family and she left this world in a glitterball coffin.
“And as this show is all glittery and divary and disco-y, I thought I had to do it for her.”
Greg's sister, Clare, died from cancer in 2016, aged 51.
And he also has a specific song in mind that he’d like to perform to in his sister’s memory.
“Dancing Queen was her big one so I think we could probably waltz to that. That would be fun.”
Greg says he told his “dear lady wife” Emma Thompson when he was asked to be on this year’s show - and her reaction to his initial refusal.
“She said, ‘You’re mad, you’ve got to do it’,” he recalled.
Greg went on to explain that he had Emma had planned a “lovely autumn” after the actress had been filming solidly from January up until this month.
“We were going to go on holiday and over the space of a five minute conversation we had, the whole of autumn was kicked into the long grass and here I am.
“She’s thrilled because she’ll be able to relax, support me and watch every Saturday night - or as many Saturdays as I survive.”
Greg, who has spent 30 years in the theatre, film and television industry, also said that he has “never even dreamt” of doing something like Strictly.
But when asked if he’s ‘in it to win it’ he said: “No, no. I’d love to survive as long as possible.
“I’d love to do as well as I could do. It’s how I approach everything.”
This year Greg will be the oldest in the competition, following in the footsteps of 2020 winner Bill Bailey.
“I’m the oldest one here,” Greg said. “I’m the grandad. I have got to try and emulate Mr Bailey from last year because I think we’re the same age.”
He added: “Bill’s a chum. When I was first asked to do it I contacted him and said what do you think?
“He said it’s a lot of work and you’ve got to look after your feet.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns this Saturday, September 18, at 7.45pm on BBC One.
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