Strictly Knutsford – UPDATED
Matt Baker and co-host Julia Bradbury were in Knutsford after filming for next week’s episode of the much loved rural-agri TV series Countryfile but due to the nature of filming schedules Matt was forced to stop by and train at one the town’s hotels en route to the next location tomorrow.
Matt grew up on a sheep farm but his parents soon realised that his boundless energy needed focusing into something more challenging so he was put on the gymnastics trail and before long Matt became quite proficient at the sport.
During a college production of Grease he was asked to do back flips and somersaults to “Jazz up” the show. After a few rehearsals, Matt ended up taking one of the parts in the show but it wasn’t long before it was suggested that he should attend drama school.
After only eighteen months of his board treading degree served he soon learned that the BBC were on the lookout for a new presenter. Within no time at all, Matt joined the team on the fifty two year old children’s television series, Blue Peter where he stayed for nearly eight years along side co presenters Konnie Huq, Simon Thomas, Liz Barker, Zöe Salmon and Gethin Jones
WIth a few spells on daytime television, a tour of duty at the Beijing Olympics as the lead Gymnastics commentator he joined the Countryfile team and fully utilised his passion for the agricultural world and to draw on his knowledge of farm life.
“Its lovely working on a programme that you actually believe in so strongly”
Matt has wanted to do Strictly for some time and when the opportunity arose to take part there was no question about accepting the role! His dancing partner Aliona Vilani must follow Matt around the entire country to shoehorn routines and intensive practice for Strictly during the filming of Countryfile.
Naturally it is extremely difficult to accommodate both success on screen with Strictly Come Dancing and a busy filming schedule “It is a competition, at the end of the day and the strong favourites are totally concentrating on it for the whole time, unfortunately I can’t do that. My biggest obstacle is the lack of time I have got to rehearse”
The competition itself is taken seriously by all competitors and winning is all that is on the minds of each personality “I certainly didn’t enter the competition for the fake tan, the classic farming tan is very different from the ballroom tan. Normally it finishes under the biceps but incredibly this one goes all over the body!”
The location of the training suite was not public but Matt did say that the hotel in question had provided a mobile dance floor especially so that the couple could run through practice routines, and as he put it during the interview “My dance partner is already waiting there for me now so I just need to put on my dancing shoes as I will be boogieing well into the night”
Matt and Aliona start their competitive dance campaign with the other contestants hit our screens on Friday 1st and Sat 2nd of October BBC One and BBC One HD. Click here to visit the official BBC Strictly Come Dancing site
Picture: Matt Baker. (C)2010 BBC PICTURES