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Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Graziano Di Prima hopes for all-male pair

Strictly Come Dancing's Graziano di Prima

Graziano Di Prima is keen to be part of Strictly’s first male couple (Picture: PA/Metro.co.uk)

The Strictly Come Dancing dancer, 27, on that same-sex dance, his advice from Anton du Beke and how he manages his famous locks.

How has Strictly changed your life?

Massively. I didn’t know anyone in London and I moved into my new apartment just three days before I started Strictly, which was a shock. I’ll never forget what Anton du Beke told me as a new guy three years ago.

He said, ‘You see all these cameras, they’re going to do the job for you, you need just to enjoy.’

You did the first male dance with Johannes Radebe in 2019. How did that feel?

It was normal for us because Johannes and I used to dance together every Sunday.

So when the production asked us what we thought, we were like, ‘Yes, of course!’ But we could never have predicted the response – in a good way.

Johannes Radebe and Giovanni Di Prima

Johannes Radebe and Graziano performed a same-sex routine on Strictly in 2019 (Picture: PA)

There are rumours you’ll be the first male couple in Strictly this year. How would that feel?

As long as they’re going to be my partner, I will be ready. We don’t know yet but my fingers are crossed.

If you don’t get a partner you’re going to be busy anyway but obviously if you get the opportunity to dance with a celebrity, it’s different.

Whereabouts are you right now?

I am in Italy, close to Venice. We’re here for a little break before Strictly after finishing Here Come The Boys at the London Palladium.

How was it to be back on stage?

It was a tough year so to receive the request to join Here Come The Boys and to finally be back dancing with my fiancée, Giada [Lini], in front of an audience – it made me realise how lucky I am to do what I love the most.

It was such a personal highlight – everyone was crying.

Was it hard getting back into rehearsals?

Yes! Let me tell you, darling, we started rehearsals on Monday and by Wednesday
I couldn’t get up from my bed and was asking Giada, ‘Please help me to get up!’

The first day off we had between the shows, I went to my physiotherapist, who literally cracked me out. That was the first time it’s been so painful I couldn’t breathe!

How did you keep fit during the pandemic?

Giada and I found a way to do Zoom classes on my website and it was the best thing we could ever have done. We started Latin lessons to help people dance, get fit and sweat.

Did you know fellow Italian dancer Giovanni Pernice before Strictly?

We went to the same academy in Bologna and when he came to England I did a dance TV show in Italy. I was on tour in London when Strictly saw me, and when I told Giovanni that Strictly had called me and I was moving to England, he gave me some suggestions.

There’s no competition between you because you’re both Italian stallions?

Obviously, when the show is on each of us want to do the best but there’s no real competition. I’m younger than him by four years and he’s been in the show longer than me.

Anton du Beke gave Graziano a vital piece of advice when he joined the show in 2018

Which of the judges is your favourite?

Oh, what a question. All of them are nice, actually, and I’m so proud of Anton.

Still friends with Vick Hope?

We are still in touch. When she hosted the Baftas with Stacey [Dooley] recently, I wrote to her to say congratulations. She was brilliant to dance with. But obviously, the audience decides what they want.

Did your dad have to be removed from the front row of Strictly?

It was when I joined Strictly and they were in the first row, and one of the people who works on the show said, ‘I’m so sorry, we need to move him back a bit because he cannot stop crying’. I will never forget that – but in a good way.

Does Giada dance on Strictly?

She’s been helping choreograph dances and dancing in group numbers. We met on an Italian TV programme and I fell in love straight away.

The only problem was that she didn’t. So we were friends until I went on tour with Burn The Floor. I went for six months and she realised that she was missing me.

Now you’re getting married…

We were supposed to be married last year but Covid happened and we postponed twice. Hopefully next year. It will be in Sicily in the town where I grew up. Johannes is going to be my best man.

There are big pressures for your first dance at your wedding…

Yes! But it will be easy, our first dance. I was talking about it with Giada the other day and saying we won’t prepare at all. It has to come naturally.

How long does it take to do your hair? It’s incredible.

Thank you! It’s really easy. A bit of water and the worst gel you can find in the market – perfect!

See Graziano on Strictly Come Dancing this autumn. For more on his dance classes visit his website here.


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