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Janette Manrara reveals nerves over return to Strictly dance floor at weekend

Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara perform while Ed Sheeran sings (Guy Levy/BBC)
Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara perform while Ed Sheeran sings (Guy Levy/BBC)

It Takes Two host Janette Manrara has told of the nerves she experienced returning to perform during the Strictly Come Dancing finale.

The professional dancer, 38, returned to the Strictly dance floor at the weekend with her husband, Strictly pro Aljaz Skorjanec, and the pair earned praise from viewers for their sizzling routine performed alongside singer Ed Sheeran.

She and Skorjanec have both competed as professional dancers on the BBC One series with celebrities since 2013, but this year she hung up her dancing shoes to replace Zoe Ball as the host of It Takes Two.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Manrara said: “It was so special, there were definitely tears in our eyes when we finished doing that.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous on Strictly Come Dancing than I was dancing with Aljaz again that night.

Ed Sheeran, Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec perform during the Strictly final (Guy Levy/BBC)

“I haven’t danced in a long time because I’ve been doing It Takes Two which is exciting and other projects.

“But dancing is at the core of what I am, I’m a dancer, so to be able to come back and do it not only with Aljaz, but also on the Strictly dance floor, on the Strictly final and with Ed Sheeran, it was definitely one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments that you just would remember for the rest of your life.”

The 2021 series saw EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis make history as the first deaf winner of the popular dancing series.

She triumphed alongside partner Giovanni Pernice, defeating Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe, the first all-male pairing on the show.

Manrara described Ayling-Ellis, 27, as “probably one of the most remarkable human beings I’ve ever met”.

She told GMB hosts Adil Ray and Charlotte Hawkins: “Because as a dancer, you breathe through and you move through listening to the music, so to see that that feeling and that kind of artistry can be created with someone that cannot hear anything, it’s just so special.

Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis raise the glitterball trophy (Guy Levy/BBC)

“It goes to show you that dancing is more than just listening to a song that you like, it’s a feeling, it’s an emotion, it’s a vibrancy…

“And Rose I think is such an example to all the people that want to do something that they think is impossible.

“And to see her pick up the glitter ball with Giovanni at the weekend, I think they are more than worthy winners and she is by the way, the loveliest, funniest, kindest person backstage you could ever meet as well, so not only is she brilliant on camera, but behind the scenes she just lit up everybody’s day.”

Manrara will host the 2022 Strictly Come Dancing live arena tour which will see her preside over 33 shows across the country in January and February.

The tour will also see her reunited with tour judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.

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