Willie Thorne is to appear on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, which starts on BBC1 next month.

Willie, whose prowess on the dancefloor is unknown, follows in the footsteps of his fellow BBC commentator Dennis Taylor, who appeared two years ago.

"I've not even danced before so this is going to be quite fun," said Willie, the 1985 Mercantile Classic champion, though this triumph is unlikely to help him much when it comes to fox-trotting.

"We're being told they want to see our hips move but I haven't seen my hips for about 10 years let alone moved them. I'm an ugly duckling and I'm hoping they will turn me into a swan."

Willie is up against celebrities including Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones, former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes, GMTV's Kate Garraway, BBC Sport's Gabby Logan and Brian Capron, who played a serial killer on Coronation Street.

Whether it'll be murder on the dancefloor for Willie remains to be seen.


Anonymous said...


Hope you don't mind me, but am gonna comment on old posts.

Didn't Alex Higgins lost to two youngsters in the last 2 years in the Irish championships? Also, did he go to court over punching a referee in the summer?

With the regiging of the UK Championship, surely the BBC could have cameras on the 2 tables that won't be televised for people who interactive tv. I know this isn't everyone, but its a start. Normally these tables are cubicles - like Prestatyn - so it wouldn't be hard to set-up a overhead camera, would it?

Also, if, players have done well outside the top 16, they deserve their day, as much as anybody else. That was a good thing about the UK. Top players getting knocked in the first week, before the cameras came in on the 2nd week. We'll see...

Jimmy White had a fantastic week and nearly done, what nobody would even thought would've happened a week ago. After a great draw against Ding in the PSL, wins against Hicks and Burnett - didn't Burnett comfortably beat White in World Championship qualifiers last season? - were excellent, but it wasn't to be against a London/Norwegian. Do you think Stevens got a phone call to say he had a wildcard to the Masters, thats why he pulled out? I still think White will get one, because, as you say, he still pulls in more fans. But, I think things will change from next season.

As for the betting scandals. Its unfortunate, that as soon as a punter with good knowledge lays heavy, the bookies get worried. Its only when its a big game at a big tournament; White v Francisco, Sheffield, Worlds, 1995, that the papers/media went mad. Its just a shame for fans and game alike.

Reading the O'Sullivan interview was revealing and candid as ever. Maybe the Rocket and Pete Doherty have more than they think in common. I do agree that by the end of his career he should be up to 7 world championships - but he won't! I still think he can get 4, but it all depends on his state of mind. Speaking of which, his 25 unbeaten games at the PSL came to an end last week - what a record. Hendry is beginning to look better with the new cue.

I cannot see Willie making it 3 sports winners in-a-row in Come Dancing. But maybe he can borrow Bruce Forsyths wig for the tango!

By the way, is Clive's book in the shops, yet and, have you read Lindsey Hunter's book called - cannot remember name - is it any good?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...


Higgins didn't actually go to court but the EASB have banned him (not that he ever played in any of their events).

I'm sure the BBC will have their cameras patrolling the outside tables but this isn't the same as full coverage.

Matthew Stevens hasn't done anything to deserve the wildcard and the fact that the tournament director couldn't get hold of him suggests that his non-appearance was for a different reason: if the WPBSA had already promised him the wildcard why would they try to contact him.

Clive's book is out on September 24. I haven't read Lindsey's but Clive has and says it's well written and interesting without being mawkish.

Anonymous said...

Just got a message from Amazon that they dispatched my order, so I guess that means Clive's book is out now.


Anonymous said...

The Everton book is out. I bought it on September 6 in London.
Read it, quite illuminating on the whole, although it gets bogged down a little in the WPBSA battles of the 90s and beyond.
The Hendry years on-table are largely absent which was a disappointment.