Craig Revel Horwood on why this series of Strictly was the hardest to judge and his upcoming album

Virgin Radio

20 Dec 2021, 14:13

Credit: Getty

Credit: Getty

The Panto star joined the Graham Norton Show with Waitrose to talk about his new album and why he found this year’s Strictly Come Dancing so hard to judge.

Craig has been a part of the dancing show since it started in 2004 and is the only judge to have remained on the panel for all 19 seasons- so you could say he’s seen it all.

But, talking to Graham on the weekend, he revealed this series was the hardest one to judge.

He said: “This year, with no exception has been incredible because of the talent we've had on the show.

“We could not decide in the semifinal, who should go through, and it was the first time that I've ever really been put in that position.”

He added, laughing: “As you know, I'm very opinionated, and I come forth with judgments quite easily, but I found it really, really difficult this year and really difficult to choose.

“If I had my choice, I would have put all four of them couples through for the final.”

Everyone competing on the show has been amazing this year, of course, but there are always one or two that get further than expected.

Craig joked: “the public have been incredible this year, and they’ve shown support for people like Dan, for instance, as well, who has probably represented a lot of people at home.

“They supported him all the way up to the quarterfinals, which was, at times, alarming. The same happened with Anne Widdicombe- she got to week 11, you know, and I was horrified.”

It is all in jest, of course, and Craig reiterated what a brilliant year it had been and how talented all the couples were.

During the show, Graham played Craig’s brand-new Christmas single ‘It’s Christmas, Merry Christmas’, which is the first song to be released from his upcoming album with long-term pal and Strictly singer Rietta Austin.

Explaining how the single came about, he said: “She [Rietta] wrote me a number after seeing me in Panto, and she said, ‘Will you record it with me’ and I said I would love to.

“Then I asked, ‘Well, why don’t we go full hog darling and do an entire album?’, so we did another 14 tracks.”

The pair decided it would be “hilarious” if one of the tracks was a Christmas song, so they went on to write ‘It’s Christmas, Merry Christmas’, which is the first single from the album to be released.

Craig said: “It was a way to introduce the wonderful Rietta, and it was a bit of a bucket list thing to do.

“Obviously, I want to knock Mariah Carey off her perch.”

The Strictly judge added the release of this new album was a way for fans of the show to see another side to him.

He explained: “It was really good fun actually, and it was just a nice thing to do. People get to see the nice side of me, I think, rather than just the Mr. Nasty they see on the TV.”

To hear more about what the judge thought of this year’s Strictly final and what it is like being in Panto, listen to the interview on catch up.

‘It’s Christmas, Merry Christmas’ is out now.