Friday 23 March 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Laura Whitmore to swap ballroom dancing for Irish acting role

Laura Whitmore, Giovanni Pernice
Laura Whitmore, Giovanni Pernice
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2016 Laura Whitmore - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jay Brooks
Will Young, Karen Clifton
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Once she's finished shaking her thing on Strictly Come Dancing, TV host Laura Whitmore will be hot-footing it to Dublin to showcase her acting talent.

The TV presenter has landed a role in upcoming thriller Not Dead Enough - based on bestselling author Peter James' novel.

STRICTLY COME DANCING 2016 Laura Whitmore - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jay Brooks
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2016 Laura Whitmore - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jay Brooks

Whitmore will take on the rather macabre role of mortuary assistant Cleo Morely in the drama.

The 31-year-old is no stranger to theatre. She attended the Leinster School of Music and Drama when she was a teenager and once played the part of Lady Macbeth.

She said she can't wait to "sink her teeth" into her latest acting role.

"I studied drama and played some great roles, including Lady Macbeth and Annie in All My Sons," she said.

"I have been waiting a long time to return to acting and for a great role like this to come along, so I can't wait to get on stage in Dublin with Not Dead Enough."

The show is due to open on April 18 in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and run for four days.

The play will also tour around Britain, playing in Newcastle and Bristol.

Peter James' last play A Perfect Murder starring Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie pulled in large audiences when it opened at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre last year.

The play will be directed by Ian Talbot, who previously won an Olivier award.

Not Dead Enough is the third novel in the award-winning Roy Grace series, which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide.

Whitmore is now preparing for BBC series Strictly Come Dancing, where her dance partner is Giovanni Pernice.

Former British Labour Party politician Ed Balls, inaugural X Factor champ Will Young, Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph, EastEnders actress Tameka Empson and Louise Redknapp will also appear on the show.

Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane, pop singer Anastacia and actor Danny Mac will also star.

Whitmore has been detailing the highs and lows of training for the programme on her Glamour magazine blog.

She said this week the reality of what she had signed up for really hit home.

"Restless nights, waking up in the middle of the night, protrusive sweating, swollen ankles ... and the realisation that I'm going to have to dance with my partner in front of 12 million people for the first time. No pressure."


One of her close friends is an osteopath, who has helped remedy her swollen ankle with acupuncture.

"I've never had acupuncture and having needles stuck into my leg wasn't exactly an easy sell," she said.

"He may as well have told me he was sticking needles in my eyes, but I trusted him and it worked."

Whitmore said she should be as right as rain for the live televised show which will air on BBC 1 tomorrow night.

There is no hostile rivalry with her fellow contestants.

"The best part is that all the contestants share a WhatsApp group so we can confide and compare aches and pains and worries. The camaraderie is so important and I feel so lucky to be sharing this experience with such lovely folk," Laura said.


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