Strictly’s James Bye ‘over the moon’ about partner Amy Dowden as she’s his ‘favourite’ pro

Strictly Come Dancing's James Bye has revealed his delight that he has been partnered up with Amy Dowden for his time on the show.

The EastEnders actor, 38, has admitted that Amy is one of his favourite professionals and that he was "blown away" at the reveal.

James told OK! and other press: "I was really shocked they gave me Amy, I view Amy, for me, watching the show… she's one of my personal favourites. Obviously, because of my height, I'm, you know, quite tall, so I never really thought they'd put me with Amy.

"So when we did the reveal at Albert Square I was like blown away. I couldn't speak. I was just shocked, you know, and yeah, I'm over the moon, she's wicked."

James had previously revealed at the launch show that he initially found going onto Strictly as scary, but Amy helped him "feel like the winner" already.

The soap star said: “For me, coming into the unknown is what’s scary, I’ve got zero dance experience… and then I met my dance partner, and he/she was amazing and completely made me feel at ease.”

Adding: “I’m so relieved and I couldn’t be happier, I feel like the winner already!”

All of the partnerships have now been confirmed for this year's show, with Paralympian Ellie Simmonds paired up with Nikita Kuzmin, Tyler West with Dianne Buswell, Kym Marsh and Graziano Di Prima, Helen Skelton and Gorka Marquez, and Ellie Taylor with Johannes Radebe.

Another pair up was Will Mellor and Nancy Xu, with Will revealing an unusual connection to judge Anton Du Beke on the launch show.

He said: “I’ve seen Anton about because he lives near the same village as me, I saw him at the tip!”

Speaking about the partnership, Nancy told presenter Claudia Winkleman: “We match well… I’m like an excitable puppy and so’s she!”

However, Will has been warned by his wife not to pull a "stink face" while dancing on the show, which he admitted to doing while dancing the dutty wine at home.

The dance move originated in Jamaica and involves moving your body in time with your hips, knees, and head – it is more often than not performed by young women.

Speaking to, Will admitted: "I don’t know why, I just love a dutty wine. Especially in the kitchen, when a song comes on with me kids in the kitchen. I'm dancing and they go ‘Dad you’re doing the stink face’.

"That was the only thing my wife said to me as a dance tip was don't do the stink face. So you know, I'm looking forward to the notes from the judges. I can't help it. It's just, it's like my hips are tied to my lips."


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