Dr Ranj Singh opens up about the highs and lows of his time on Strictly and reveals what he has in store for the future…
How would you describe your experience of Strictly?
‘It really is a bit of a magical whirlwind. It’s so intense because you have so much to do, and it takes over your life, but it’s so much fun. I really miss it now.’
Was this your first experience of professional dancing?
‘Yes! I “party dance” and love throwing a few shapes on the dance floor with my mates on a Saturday night, but this was my first taste of what I call “proper” dancing. I have the utmost admiration for professional dancers now, as I know how hard it is to do well!’
How did you find the training? We hear it was intense…
‘Training was intense. We would only have Monday to Thursday to learn and perfect the routines, so we would grab as many hours as we possibly could around my other work commitments. On average we probably did 6-8 hours a day I reckon. That’s a lot of working out each week!’
That sounds exhausting! But did you have a personal highlight on the show?
‘Strictly has always been a dream for me, so just being part of the show was a dream come true! Also, having the opportunity to dance with Janette was amazing. She’s an incredible performer and now she’s like a best friend too. She’s one of many wonderful things I’ve got from the show.’
How did you feel when your time on Strictly came to an end?
‘I was absolutely gutted. We had had such a good week and I was really hoping we’d made it through. But sadly it was our time to go – I’m still not over it!’
Who are you rooting for to win?
‘I couldn’t possibly choose between any of my friends! They’re all there because they deserve to be – they’ve worked hard, they’re good dancers, and people like them! Any of them deserve to win!’
Strictly had its first ever same-sex couple dance routine this series – do you think this could become the norm on the show?
‘I think it was an amazing thing that the BBC did with the same sex couple pro dance routine, and the public loved it just as everyone else did. That should be celebrated. Also, let’s remember that the cast of celebrities is so diverse: different backgrounds, cultures, genders, sexualities on a mainstream platform on the biggest show in the country. That’s fantastic!’
Do you have any projects coming up?
‘Well, it’s back to the day job (I work in the NHS), and seeing what new doors open up. I’m still doing This Morning, and will hopefully be filming some more stuff with the BBC and ITV. I’m also looking at doing some books, so fingers crossed!’
Do you plan to carry on dancing?
‘Absolutely! I’ve booked dance lessons already! I really miss dancing, and it’s such a great way to keep fit and boost your mood, I simply have to carry it on! Also, it would be a shame to lose everything I’ve learned over the last couple of months.’
Would you go on any other reality TV shows – if so, which?
‘I’d be useless on the ice, I hate creepy crawlies, and Big Brother doesn’t exist anymore so my options are limited! Who knows, perhaps I should think of a new medical reality show!’