James Bye addresses BBC backlash over Strictly 100-year anniversary

James Bye on celebrating the BBC's 100th anniversary on Strictly

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James Bye appeared on Thursday’s Lorraine along with his Strictly Come Dancing partner Amy Dowden to discuss this weekend’s performance. The duo will be taking to the dance floor where they will perform to the EastEnders theme tune to celebrate 100 years of the BBC.

However, during the interview, when Ranvir Singh mentioned the criticism the BBC has faced in the past, James was quick to point out that this weekend will be a celebration of the broadcaster.

The host said: “Tell us a bit about how everybody else in the team are feeling.

“I mean, you know, there’s such a lot riding on the show because especially as you say it’s a celebration of the BBC.

“And the BBC can get a bit (of backlash) in the papers and this that and the other but actually, it’s a true celebration of what the BBC has given to all of us for 100 years.

“It must be extraordinary for you to be in the biggest show, one of the bigger shows, EastEnders and Strictly?”

Addressing the criticism, James replied: “I can’t tell you how honoured I am to be represented in EastEnders in such an iconic year.

“And to be doing something that’s never been done on Strictly before and Amy when you got told it was EastEnders, I think we both looked at each other, and said, ‘How are we going to dance to EastEnders?'”

Teasing fans with what they can expect from the routine, James continued: “But there are some tricks and it’s not quite the normal EastEnders theme tune that everyone’s gonna expect.

“There are some surprises along the way and that’s why I am so excited.”

Discussing what it was like to choreograph an EastEnders-themed routine, Amy weighed in: “What an honour, it has never been done before.

“This is so special to James because he has been on the show for so many years, and many of the cast who have been on Strictly as well.

“We’ve gone for a bit of drama and emotion as well as obviously full of content of the foxtrot.”

“So the pressure has been on to choreograph,” the professional dancer admitted.

“I’ve done the best routine I possibly can because I know how important this is.”

“She’s done an amazing job,” James praised before admitting he wasn’t nervous about it.

“Honestly, I can’t wait for Saturday. Normally like you get nervous, but this week, I’m really excited about it.”

The Martin Fowler star went on to discuss the gruelling rehearsal schedule, explaining to Ranvir he was hurting from the neck down.

“I’m not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination and Amy’s pretty strict with it,” he said before adding: “I’m in pain from the neck down.”

On Saturday, James and his fellow co-stars will be performing routines to the themes of several BBC shows.

Elsewhere, Ellie Taylor and Johannes Radebe will dance the Tango to the Casualty theme tune, while Tyler West and Dianne Buswell will also take on the Tango to the Doctor Who theme tune.

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.

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