Credit: P&O Cruises

Strictly singer Lance Ellington reveals what it's like backstage & performing with P&O Cruises

Author: World of Cruising

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Strictly Come Dancing singer Lance Ellington has also performed on P&O Cruises ships. Here he spills the beans on the hit show and what it's like to perform on a cruise.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 comes to an end this weekend with the final on Saturday, December 18.

Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see who will be crowned the Glitterball champion this year.

The finalists are television presenter AJ Odudu, Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and celebrity chef John Whaite along with their respective professional dance partners.

But it's not just the dancers who are the stars of Strictly - there are a number of other celebrities to keep a tour eye out for, including the singers.

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Who are the singers on Strictly?

The four professional singers on the show are Lance Ellington, Tommy Blaize, Andrea Grant and Hayley Sanderson.

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Who is Lance Ellington?

Lace Ellington, 64, is a British singer who has become one of the most prominent male vocalists.

He is the son of the late, Ray Ellington, a famous 1950s bandleader and jazz singer

Lance's talents haven't just been lent to TV and radio however, he's also carried out multiple tours and taken a turn on cruise ships, performing with P&O Cruises.

He opened up to World of Cruising about his time onboard the ships.

Strictly 2021: Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is one of the finalists on the hit show. Credit: BBC

Lance Ellington interview

What's it like to be on Strictly Come Dancing?

As a singer, it’s a dream come true. Even after 17 years I still can’t quite believe it!

Is it nerve-wracking, performing live to millions of people?

The BBC are amazing and so slick with the way they produce the show. But it’s scary performing when you know that any mistake will be heard by the nation.

There’s quite a bit of pressure to do your homework and learn your song – then you just hope that it all goes well on the day.

- READ MORE: Eighties icon Martin Fry on bringing cruisers the chance to 'dance & romance -

What is it like backstage? Does everybody get along?

I know it’s a cliché but it really does feel like a big family. I get on particularly well with Anton [du Beke] – I do his and Erin’s live tour in December after the show, so we’re quite close mates.

But, to be honest, we’re all friends, and there’s been no one over the years who I haven’t got on with... it’s such a shame when people are no longer on the show.

Strictly Come Dancing: "I get on particularly well with Anton du Beke [left]," said Ellington

What was it like on the P&O Strictly cruise?

I’d never been on a cruise before, so the tie-up with P&O Cruises was amazing. We got Craig Revel Horwood on board, two of the professional couples came on to perform, and I did my own show as well.

I was blown away by how nice it is to travel by ship and not have to fly. What’s not to like about going around the Med and seeing all those beautiful places?

Did you have any apprehensions about cruising before getting on board?

Not really – my only worry was whether I’d get seasick, and I’ll admit it took me a while to find my sea legs.

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What was your favourite part of the cruise?

The highlight for me was the passenger competitions. It felt very much like Strictly because you have Craig sitting on the panel with Anton and the Captain, and some of the passengers perform and get marked like they do on the show. It’s so much fun to be a part of.

Lance Ellington: "I’d never been on a cruise before, so the tie-up with P&O Cruises was amazing." Credit: P&O Cruises

Do you enjoy meeting the fans when you’re on board?

I love it. In my show, I sang some numbers made famous by my father, Ray Ellington, who was also a jazz singer, and I talked about him and his work on The Goon Show in the Fifties.

A lot of people on board were the right age to remember my dad, and I'd get couples coming up to tell these stories about how they met, dancing on a Saturday night to his band. That’s really nice to hear.

- READ MORE: Jane McDonald reveals 'shocking' behaviour of crew when she worked on cruise ships -

Strictly gives you the opportunity to perform lots of different songs. Do you enjoy that?

Definitely. As a session singer most of my life, I’ve got used to doing different styles of music and it keeps things fresh – even though my heart lies with the crooner classics and jazz songs. But on Strictly you get to do an incredibly wide range of material.

One of the times I won’t quickly forget is when I had to do Gangnam Style for Ed Balls to dance to. That was quite a challenge, let me tell you!

Do you still perform it?

On the cruises, I do a snippet of Korean dialogue sometimes, but it’s not part of my repertoire. It has scarred me for life, that one!

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