Bill Bailey has admitted that his momentous win on Strictly Come Dancing was clouded with a tinge of sadness, as he thought of his late mother.
The comedian, 55, scooped the BBC ballroom show’s coveted glitterball along with pro partner Oti Mabuse on Saturday, but has revealed that his mind was on his beloved mother Madryn, who he lost to bowel cancer back in 2005.
Writing about his moment of victory in the Telegraph, he said: ‘When Tess called out our names as winners, I felt a mix of emotions. Elation, utter joy, excitement… and delight for Oti in making a bit of Strictly history.
Mixed emotions: Bill Bailey has admitted that his momentous win on Strictly Come Dancing was clouded with a tinge of sadness, as he thought of his late mother
‘But also a little bit of sadness, as I thought of my mum and how she’s not around to share this moment, knowing how proud she would have been.’
His preparations for the grand finale were also affected by the news that much of England was hours away from being plunged into a Tier 4 lockdown, amid rising novel coronavirus cases and reports of a new strain.
With his concerns then switching to his father having to spend Christmas alone under the new restrictions, the star said that he was inspired to make his rousing ‘show must go on’ speech to the audience.
he wrote: ‘During the costume change for our Showdance to a classic Queen track, we heard the news about the stricter lockdown rules that would mean families would be apart at Christmas.
Lord of the dance: The comedian, 55, scooped the BBC ballroom show’s coveted glitterball along with pro partner Oti Mabuse on Saturday
‘I thought of my own father, who has been isolating at home, and realising we would not be able to see him over Christmas. This was uppermost in my mind when I spoke about The Show Must Go On now taking on the meaning of an anthem of hope, to try to stay positive, to get through this.’
On Monday morning, Bill made an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine, where he spoke with fellow Strictly star Ranvir Singh about missing his family while on the show.
Bill, who had to isolate away from his wife Kristin and their teen son Dax while competing, said of the show coming to an end: ‘It was quite emotional anyway as it was going to be the last time we were dancing.
‘But it did make me think of my mum, firstly, because my mum died 15 years ago and I did think about her a lot on the day. She loved ballroom dancing. In fact, she wanted me to take it up when I was a kid.
Candid chat: On Monday morning, Bill made an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine, where he spoke with fellow Strictly star Ranvir Singh about missing his family while on the show
‘She got me to take a couple of lessons when I was a teenager but of course, I was a teenager and I thought, “I don’t want to do ballroom dancing”. But I know she would have been so proud. This would have been her proudest moment.
‘It also made me think of my dad as we heard during the day about the new restrictions and about the fact that my dad who has been on his own isolating since March, we were looking forward to seeing him at Christmas and then we thought “Oh no, we can’t do that now and he’s going to be on his own.”
‘So there was a lot of that going on as well… it almost made me want to give more in the performance, in a way.’
On his choice of song as he danced to The Show Must Go On on Saturday, he said: ‘It’s a powerful song anyway.
Ballroom fan: Bill revealed that his mother, who he lost to cancer back in 2005, was a huge ballroom fan who even sent him to dance lessons when he was a teenager
Lockdown levels: Bill also said that he’d learned of the new Tier 4 restrictions while on the set, meaning his father would be forced to spend the Christmas holiday alone
‘Before we knew about the restrictions I was thinking it was an anthem for our industry, the whole industry that has been so devastated by the pandemic but then I thought, no it’s more than that, it means we have to find some strength to get through this. It seemed the moment to talk about it when we came off stage.’
Bill, who beat Maisie Smith, HRVY and Jamie Laing to the glitterball, also explained how he almost caused a fire on the set after he and Jamie missed their ‘count on’ at the very beginning of the live show.
He said: ‘The stage manager said, “No I will count you in.” We said OK… and then Jamie and I were like, “We are fine between the two of us we can count to eight”.
‘And just as I said that, I kicked over one of the pyrotechnic boxes, tripped over that and nearly fell down the stairs. I was like, “We cant be left alone for a second”.
‘I thought that would be a great way to start the show – Bill Bailey has ignited his trousers and he fire alarm goes off, and I fall over and set fire to the studio!’
Dancing dad: Bill, who at 55 is the oldest winner of the coveted glitterball, said that he hoped his victory had helped take away the stigma of ‘dad dancing’
All the right moves: The comedian won over the audience and judges alike with his slick moves
He admitted his big win had not sunk in yet, telling Ranvir: ‘I‘m still in a bit of a daze really, Ranvir. I got in and we had a glass of wine.
‘Then today, I’ve just been pottering around. Yesterday I didn’t really know what to do. I’ve been going through messages and texts, lots of lovely messages from people. But no it hasn’t really sunk in yet.’
Asked if he could feel his toes, he joked: ‘No, the toes are still on strike. I don’t know what’s up with them. They have just decided to give up. It’s relentless. But yes, I feel great actually. I feel a little bit stiff of leg and arm but otherwise great.’
Bill, who at 55 is the oldest winner of the coveted glitterball, said that he hoped his victory had helped take away the stigma of ‘dad dancing’.
He said: ‘I think it always makes people feel nervous. I don’t want to be that guy, shuffling around. My hope is that me having this success will mean more men of my age might consider taking up a dance class or maybe just getting fitter.’
Still hasn’t sunk in: He admitted his big win had not sunk in yet, telling Ranvir, ‘I‘m still in a bit of a daze really, Ranvir. I got in and we had a glass of wine’