NewsNews

Behind the scenes at RTE's new dance show

NewsBy Eugene Masterson
Katherine and Kai
Katherine and Kai

Comedian Katherine Lynch has revealed everyone on RTE’s Dancing With The Stars are getting on famously, but the “tantrums and tiaras” could kick in when the voting begins.

Lynch is set to show off her moves on RTE’s glitzy new show, which kicks off a 12-week run this evening.

Katherine said she is enjoying being put through her paces by her dance partner – even though he is a bit more nimble on his feet.

Her partner, Kai Widdrington (21), is from Southampton and will be well known to Britain’s Got Talent fans, having been a finalist in 2012. 

“I’m in my element doing this. I’m surrounded by shoes and dancing and gorgeous men,” she smiles.

“I’m getting on absolutely brilliant with Kai. It’s like moving in with somebody and the dancing is very close and very intimate, so you have to like the person – and I do absolutely like this person.”

Eleven celebrities are taking part in the new series, which is the most expensive live TV show ever made in Ireland and is filmed at Ardmore studios in Co. Wicklow.

“The set is amazing, it’s nicer than the Strictly set,” claims Katherine (41).  

“I have two left feet. I can dance from the neck up and I can dance with my eyes, but with my feet, they haven’t got into the swing of things ever. 

“When I go out on stage I love the adrenalin of an audience, but it’s usually just for me to mess around.

 “But this is genuine, steps and foxtrot steps, and every sort of dance you can imagine is in it.”

She is a fan of Strictly Come Dancing, the format which Dancing With The Stars is modelled on.

“I would have loved Strictly,” she admits. “I love the campness of it and I loved the whole glitz and glamour, but I never would have thought that I could compete. We’re going to have a great time on the first night, because nobody gets voted out, so everyone is in absolutely great spirits. 

“So the tantrums and tiaras might only start when we start getting voted out.”

Tonight’s show will mainly focus on the male celebrity dancers, with the whole ensemble doing a group dance to Putting on The Ritz. Next week’s show will concentrate on the female stars.

That means that for two weeks each contestant is safe, with one being voted off each week from week three.

Each celebrity is guaranteed a pay cheque of €6,600 for the first two weeks, and will earn €1,800 for each extra week they stay on the show.

This means the overall winner will make €24,600 as well as being crowned champion.

The other dancers are former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony (36), Fair City actress Aoibhin Garrihy (29), Hometown singer Dayl Cronin (23), Red Rock actress Denise McCormack (41), comedian Des Bishop (41), RTE broadcaster Des Cahill (57), TV doctor Eva Orsmond (50), Big Brother star Hughie Maughan (22), RTE reporter Teresa Mannion (55) and model Thalia Heffernan (21).

Insiders suggest Aidan O’Mahony – who works as a Garda – Des Bishop and Dayl Cronin are the ones to watch at the moment.

“I think everyone looks great at the moment, and that’s not to avoid the question,” Katherine points out when asked who she thinks might be good.

“You just don’t know with a thing like this, because it could be somebody with good social media, or somebody the public take a liking to.

“You never would have thought that Ed Balls would have gone so far in Strictly, so you never know.”

Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne, the new hosts of RTE ’s new Show Dancing with the Stars.

She admits they had to “pack” in rehearsals for 12 hours a week for three weeks.

“It’s a very short amount of rehearsal time, so it’s a big ask for us to become dancers in such a short time, but it’s a great challenge,” she notes.

“They give us great dancing shoes. It’s like walking into Fame every morning. You have your little bag of shoes, you have your shoes for your Latin dances, your shoes for ballroom.”

She is also full of praise for hosts Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne.

“They are very hands on and both of them are experienced and tell us little tricks here and there about what to do,” she explains. 

The judges include showbiz agent Julian Benson, former ballroom champion Loraine Barry and dance coach Brian Redmond.

All-Ireland winner O’Mahony will have his hands full if he lasts most of the series.

“My wife Denise is expecting our first baby in March, so it’s going to be a mad couple of months if I stay in the competition,” he admits.

Des Bishop, meanwhile, says he’s excited about the show.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend the next few months – if I last that long,” he beams.

And Des Cahill is eager to do the Cha Cha.

“I don’t even dance at weddings, but I’m at the stage in my life where I don’t get embarrassed anymore, so bring it on,” he exclaims.

Dancing With The Stars is on RTE1 from 6.30pm-8.30pm.