Mike Bushell: Strictly Come Dancing star reveals hidden ‘signals’ from partner Katya Jones

Mike Bushell, 53, and Katya Jones, 30, made their dance debut on Strictly Come Dancing 2019 on Saturday night, dazzling the judges and viewers with an energetic Jive. Scoring a commendable 22 points for his first outing, the BBC Breakfast reporter kicked off his Strictly journey in style. Today, he and Katya appeared on Chris Moyles’ Radio X show, where they spilled all. Ever self-effacing, Mike told the DJ: “I’m a dad dancer, the typical dancer that embarrasses everyone at weddings and discos. No rhythm, no real timing…”

“Is that the first thing you look for, if they have rhythm? And you go, ‘Okay, I’ve got something to work with,’” Chris asked Strictly pro Katya.

The Russian-born dancer proceeded to explain how the professionals coach the celebrities through their routines when they perform them live on the dance floor in front of millions of viewers.

“We talk them all the way through the dance,” she said.

When host Chris asked Mike if his focus was on counting his way through the performance, the presenter revealed how Katya gives him subtle hidden signals.

“Yeah, and listening to Katya,” he said. “Just transfixed looking at Katya’s face for the signals.

“But also remembering it myself,” he added. “At the same time, you’ve got to perform, you’ve got to smile.

“I had to be Elvis in the middle of the Jive, which is quite hard to imagine,” he quipped.

“It’s such a mental sport as well as extreme. I never realised how extreme dancing was.”

Mike and Katya’s first performance saw them showcase how far his dance skills have come in just a couple of short weeks with a lively Jive to Do You Love Me.

The judges were largely complimentary, with head judge Shirley Ballas, 59, gushing: “You are the dynamic duo.

“Your flick ball changes are from about week eight,” she told Mike, much to his and Katya’s elation.

“You’ve come out with great energy, your programme was good, you’ve entertained us and I thought it was delightful.”

Craig Revel Horwood, 54, meanwhile, said he “loved” the energy Mike brought to the routine, but criticised his “sickled feet”.

“I thought you did very well,” he concluded.

Barely having time to soak up the events of Saturday night, the duo were back in training yesterday in preparation for the second live show as the first dance off and elimination of the series approach.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 continues Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One.

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