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That to me was a massive step and was something I wanted to do.’ Other members of the cast include her friends Tamzin Outhwaite – playing former pro-dancer Mavis, who teaches the class – and Tracy Ann Oberman, who stars as loudmouthed mum Maxine.‘It’s a funny play and it’s a slice of real life because lots of people up and down the country go to dance classes or fitness classes and meet people from all different walks of life.’I wonder how Dominic copes as the only man in the cast. ‘He’s absolutely charming and we all love him, but he doesn’t get involved with all the shrieking, laughing and eating cake that goes on.’After the initial so I’ve been able to get away with legs as hairy as Gary Lineker’s.She has overcome a scandal that almost engulfed her career (her eight-year marriage to Les Dennis – who is 16 years her senior – ended three years after she had a brief affair with the actor Neil Morrissey in 2000) to alter her public image from ‘nasty little minx and marriage-wrecker’ to one of the most popular and highly paid women on TV. ‘Simon jokes that he loves to set women against each other on his judging panels and I said from the start I would never do that. There will always be people who don’t like me,’ she admits, ‘but a lot more do now – particularly women. 'The main reason I was so thrilled to stand in for Holly Willoughby during her maternity leave from [she did a nine-month stint in 2014-15] was that I’d be able to show a different side of myself.Alesha Dixon and I have been firm friends from the get-go. I wasn’t wearing the big glam frock; I wasn’t judging people.
Ask her why she chose to play the snippy Vera over the sexy, confident Maxine, she pauses for a beat before saying, ‘Because she’s got all the best lines, of course! ‘I’m out like a light every night because I’m so knackered.’ (She is also working on a ‘really exciting’ project with QVC, launching in May.) There is another pause. The plan is to work like crazy now and take off most of the summer and next winter. They got to fly across the stage [rigged into the theatrical ‘flying ropes’] and had the backstage of the Palladium as their playground – they loved it.‘Lexi would go through lines with me, which is good reading practice, and Hollie loved every single thing about it.Follow the link on the right to get your hands on it now or for more choice check out our edit of alternatives in the carousel below.Amanda Holden is a woman who knows how to make an entrance.The idea to put on a new version of the original play by renowned screenwriter Richard Harris was Amanda’s after she saw the Liza Minnelli movie on TV. None of them can dance properly because it’s not really about the dancing; it’s about a group of women – and one guy – who get to know each other and become friends.As soon as I saw it on television I started casting it in my head, then my management company suggested I could produce it with them.
But Simon Cowell has very strict rules about the way women should look – plucked, waxed, made up and groomed to within an inch of their lives. It’s the Joan Collins method of growing old glamorously.’Amanda’s self-scrutiny is forensic. Her eyebrows have recently been microbladed (a woman came down from Birmingham to lightly tattoo them), her teeth straightened by an Invisalign brace and her face refreshed with collagen waves (via hot rollers that plump and lift the skin).