Tuesday 22 May 2018

Alexandra Burke calls fiance’s dancing ‘a work in progress’

The former Strictly finalist is currently starring in a West End revival of the musical Chess.

Alexandra Burke has said fiance Josh Ginnelly's dancing has improved (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Alexandra Burke has said fiance Josh Ginnelly's dancing has improved (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Former Strictly Come Dancing finalist Alexandra Burke has said her fiance Josh Ginnelly’s dancing has improved but is not at competition level yet.

Burke was asked by the Press Association if she thought she may have won the BBC series if she was paired with Ginnelly for the final.

It comes after Emmerdale actor Anthony Quinlan dismissed rumours that he and his partner, professional dancer Dianne Buswell, were to be the first real-life couple on the programme.

Burke said: “Put it this way, Josh has only learned the one-two step.

“Bless his heart, he is not a dancer. He really wants to do something in life where there is rhythm.

“I think over the last three years his rhythm has got better. I don’t think it is at the stage of Strictly yet.

“Nobody needs to see us dancing together yet. It’s a work in progress.”

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Alexandra Burke rehearsing for Chess.

The 2008 X Factor winner was speaking after appearing in the opening night of musical Chess at the London Coliseum.

She plays the role of Svetlana in the revived production, which is running on the West End for the first time since 1986.

Chess was written in 1984 by Abba’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, alongside Sir Tim Rice.

The show tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War, in which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends.

The production features English National Opera’s orchestra and chorus.

Burke stars alongside Michael Ball as Anatoly and Cassidy Janson as Florence. She performs the show’s famous duet I Know Him So Well with Janson.

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Michael Ball in the dress rehearsal for Chess.

The original version of the song performed by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson was at number one for four weeks on the Official Singles Chart in 1985.

Burke said that Paige has told her she plans to come to watch her and Janson sing the song in the new production.

She said: “When I did the Olivier Awards announcements with Elaine, the first thing I said to her was, ‘Are you going to come to see Chess?’

“And she said, ‘Yes of course I am!’ I hope she does, she is amazing!

“I’m a big fan of her BBC Radio 2 theatre show. When I was touring I’d listen to Elaine Page on a Sunday afternoon when I was driving home.

“When I meet people who I have listened to and they are nice, it makes my day!”

Chess is currently showing at the London Coliseum and will run until June 2.

Press Association

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