EXCLUSIVE: Amanda Holden is ‘rooting’ for ‘wonderful’ Caroline Quentin on Strictly… branding her an ‘inspiration’ when they acted together in the 1990s
Amanda Holden has thrown her support behind Caroline Quentin after the actress was announced as the first contestant to be taking part on Strictly Come Dancing 2020.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Amanda – who acted alongside Caroline in the 1998-2001 BBC sitcom Kiss Me Kate – said: ‘I’ll be rooting for her – she’s a wonderful human being!’
Amanda, 49, added: ‘She was a real inspiration to me when I started out in my career.
‘Rooting for her!’ Amanda Holden has thrown her support behind Caroline Quentin after the actress was announced as the first contestant to be taking part on Strictly Come Dancing 2020
‘She is a great example of a strong fierce funny woman and I hope she smashes it!’
Amanda starred as Caroline’s assistant Mel in the comedy series, which followed titular Kate Salinger’s job as a counselor.
Amanda also acted in two episodes of Jonathan Creek in 1998, opposite Caroline, who played Maddy Magellan.
Amanda went on to star in the likes of drama Cutting It, and has been a judge on Britain’s Got Talent for 14 years.
Old pals: Amanda has credited Caroline as an inspiration when she was a young actress [pictured 2001]
Amanda acted alongside Caroline in the 1998-2001 BBC sitcom Kiss Me Kate [pictured with co-stars Darren Boyd, Chris Langham and Cliff Parisi]
She presents a radio show in the mornings on Heart also.
Caroline was announced alongside Max George and Jason Bell as the first three celebrities to take part in Strictly 2020 on Tuesday’s instalment of The One Show – following months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down.
‘I’ve been keeping it very quiet and it’s really difficult as I like a chat, as you well know, and it’s been so hard to be quiet about it. I’m a bit scared, but quite excited,’ the Men Behaving Badly actress told The One Show hosts Alex Jones and Amol Rajan.
Sitcom stars: Amanda played Caroline’s assistant Mel on the sitcom
Early role: The comedy series followed titular Kate Salinger’s job as a counselor
Co-stars: Amanda also acted in two episodes of Jonathan Creek in 1998, opposite Caroline, who played Maddy Magellan
She added: ‘I do remember some of what I learned [dancing] but my knees are 50 years older than the last time I attempted any of it, and it’s my knees and my undergarments that are troubling me most as a notion.
‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’
Caroline is perhaps best known for her role on sitcom Men Behaving Badly – on which she played the long-suffering girlfriend of Martin Clunes.
New challenge: Jonathan Creek actress Caroline explained that she used to do ballet as a girl, as well as tap and modern dance, but is worried her knees will let her down
Hitting the dance floor! Max George of former boy band The Wanted will also appear with Caroline on Strictly this autumn
Big reveal: The third star to be named is NFL player Jason Bell – who is the ex of Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle, with whom he shares a daughter [pictured in 2009]
The celebrity contestants on this year’s Strictly will be asked to ‘bubble’ with their dance partners for the duration of the series, which is set to be shorter – nine weeks instead of the normal 13 – and quieter, with no live audience to clap and boo.
Judge Bruno Tonioli will be dialling in from Los Angeles for the first five weeks, unable to travel back and forth from his duties at Dancing With The Stars due to the pandemic’s travel rules.
The BBC’s head of entertainment, Kate Phillips, said: ‘Strictly is a slightly shorter run but, apart from that, I don’t think it will be a lesser show at all. If anything, I think this series will be rather special.’
Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020
Profession: Actress, known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek
Caroline says: ‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’
Fun fact: She met her now-husband, Sam Farmer in 1998 on the set of Men Behaving Badly when he was one of the studio runners.
Profession: Singer – from former boy band The Wanted
Max says: ‘Nan – I’m doing Strictly this year!’
Fun Fact: Max’s fellow The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was on Strictly in 2015 – and won it!
Profession: Retired American Football player – now a pundit
Jason says: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’
Fun Fact: Jason is the father of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle’s daughter. The couple were together for 11 years, only splitting recently in 2019