The Strictly Come Dancing launch gave fans a glimpse of how this year’s celebrities will fare when they take to the dance floor for their first dances. Maisie Smith lifted the Glitterball Trophy when she competed in a Children In Need special with her EastEnders co-stars but judge Motsi Mabuse has warned she could up against a huge challenge. 

During the launch, Strictly fans discovered the professional dancer and celebrity pairings.

After Maisie and Gorka Marquez’s pairing was revealed, Tess Daly quizzed Motsi on how well she thinks they’ll do.

Tess asked: “Motsi, we saw a tiny glimpse of Maisie dancing in last year’s Children In Need. How do you think she’ll do?”

Motsi replied: I think we saw her potential last year and I watched her dancing and I thought, ‘Woah maybe she would be great for a whole season.’

Read more: Tess Daly left in tears as she shares backstage Strictly details

“And now she’s here, very happy about that. Now it’s the question, will she be consistent? Can she keep up?

“She’s got Gorka so we want to see how they will develop but exciting things are coming.”

Although Maisie won the Strictly special, Motsi warned earlier in the show that it’s important to remember its a “marathon”.

Discussing Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice’s pairing, Motsi praised the Good Morning Britain presenter’s enthusiasm. 

Jacqui sits as chair of University Hospitals Birmingham and an employee of the trust has accused the politician of a “dereliction of duty”.

Dr Clare Gardner has started a petition to blast Jacqui’s move and the description states the politician’s role as chair of the trust is far too important to “neglect”.

The petition read: “She [Jacqui] is the chair of the largest NHS Trust in the UK, during a time of major crisis i.e. the second Covid-19 wave.

“We are already in a Tier Two lockdown. I am a haematologist within the Trust she apparently chairs.

“Our Chief Executive, Dr David Rosser, has made numerous statements to the press recently, describing the fear and foreboding we all sense towards rising cases.

“She sent me a very trite card after I spent three months heading up the outpatient haematology cancer service at Good Hope Hospital alone when my colleagues were sent to COVID rotas.

“Now that we are facing a similarly perilous situation, she has swanned off to London to dance. This is a dereliction of duty.

“If ever there was a time to have figureheads in place for NHS organisations that are struggling, it is now.

“Jacqui would rather wear sequins than look after her charge,” she added. 

Express Online has contacted representatives for Jacqui Smith in response to the comments. 

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.



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