POP star Jay McGuiness is best known as one fifth of the massively successful boyband The Wanted.


TWO STRICTLY CHAMPIONS TOGETHER WITH ONE STRICTLY PROFESSIONAL Jay McGuiness, Natalie Lowe and Louis Smith will swing, bop, jitterbug, lindy hop, jive and ballroom through the greatest songs from the greatest decade of music! The music in the show spans various styles from romantic ballads and crooner songs through to classic pop hits and the shattering world of rock ’n’ roll.

1. How excited are you about the Rip It Up Production?

I am so excited. Rip It Up is an amazing show to be part of; all those great songs from the 1950’s, incredible dancers, amazing routines. What’s not to like?

2. What have you done first to prepare for the role?

Getting my messy hair into a quiff, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

3. Are you bringing any of the Strictly-style Lycra and tanning to the show?

As much as I'd like to, this show with Louis and Natalie will be rock 'n' roll, jiving and swinging. There will be plenty of similar stuff to Strictly, but the difference is that there will be a little bit more to it than just dancing - but I don't think it will involve tanning and Lycra!

4. Will you be singing as well as dancing?

Yes, I'll be singing. Louis will be singing, too. It's cool to be doing more than just dancing, especially as The Wanted are on our most indefinite hiatus.

5. Could you and Louis be a new band at the end of it?

Who knows? We could be like the ‘50's version of The Black Eyed Peas.

6. When you were a little kid, did you imagine you'd be doing this for a career in your 20's? Did you look far ahead?

Honestly, no I didn’t. I just followed my feet. If I look back, it looks like everything was planned; I went into this band that took off and then went on Strictly, which has since led me to different theatre strands. It looks like it has all been planned but, honestly, it hasn’t. At some point in my life I need to come up with a plan, but I've not done it yet and so far so good.

7. What's it like going back into a big dance production? You returned to Strictly a year after winning it to dance at the start of the following series as the champion, which must be quite daunting. Does this feel similar?

I guess I won’t really know until the tour starts. It's really weird, though, because over the course of Strictly you get conditioned to learning a new dance every week, so by the time it comes back around the next year you feel like you’re being thrown in at the deep end again. It’s Week One all over again, with all these new contestants about to carry on their journey while I was back for just that one week.

8. How long will you need to rehearse for Rip It Up?

We need a full month. After I got back from a holiday in the U.S. it was straight into the rehearsal studio. We already had the set list down for the music, so we’re rehearsing the actual dance routines for a month before the tour starts.

9. How do you prepare for you role?

Get some sun, some rest and some physical training with some hikes and exercise in the U.S.

I'm more active when I am over there. In LA, you are either a bit of a slob or you are gym bunny. I always come back from there refreshed. I go walking and go camping along the coast, as I love to rough it and be outdoorsy.

10. Have you been tempted to do any new TV shows?

Me and my family have just taken part in the TV show Hunted, where you run from policeman and CCTV, and all that. We gave them a good run for their money. I really enjoyed doing it. It’ll be on Channel 4 in October.

11. Is Natalie Lowe bossy to work with?

Ha! She holds no prisoners. She talks about naughty toes, which really threw me back to when I was doing the training for Strictly, but she is a laugh and she's got no airs or graces.

12. Is Louis more of a prima donna?

I couldn’t possibly say!

13. Who will take the longest to prepare to go on stage each evening of the Rip It Up tour?

Probably Natalie. We recently did a photo shoot and Louis and I were ready in five minutes. We then waited about an hour while Natalie tried on every dress.

14. Do you have an ideal weight where you feel at your fittest and strongest for the new part?

Not really. I think as long as I can run a few flights of steps without breaking out into a sweat I don't look at the scales. But it's only at the end of the tour that I will notice if I have lost any weight or gained any. When I did the Strictly tour I thought I was quite skinny by the end of it, but I think I look better with a bit of meat on me.

15. Was it tough dealing with rumours that you and your Strictly partner Aliona Vilani were an item, and how did that impact on your life and opportunities to find love?

When it came out we thought they can talk all they want, and we just ignored it. We weren't going to fuel a fire. Right now I am happily single.