STRICTLY Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood has revealed that he wants BBC bosses to recruit Love Island stars to make the show “more inclusive”.
The popular programme is famed for its aversion for casting reality TV favourites, with few making their way onto the dancefloor.
Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing was lucky enough to make the cut earlier this year, but was forced to pull out before the show even officially launched after suffering an injury.
Now judge Craig believes that it is about time the Beeb embraced the new breed of celebrity that is taking over, insisting that Love Island stars deserve a spot in the ballroom.
Speaking to The Sun Online at the star-studded Big The Musical gala, 54-year-old Craig said: “I don’t know if Love Island stars will be on Strictly in the future, but I hope so.
“I think now that is the craze, YouTube and reality TV stars are coming to the forefront, I think you have to be prepared for that.
“You have to keep it classy, you want to keep it social, and it is important to be inclusive – that’s my kind of thing.”
Discussing the progress that producers have already made by signing up vlogger Joe Sugg last year, and Saffron Baker for this year’s series, Craig added: “I am glad that the BBC are doing that with people on YouTube because it is inclusive.
“These people have millions and millions of followers, and it is a brilliant thing to invite them into the Strictly bubble.”
Craig was at last night’s swanky event to support Strictly alumni Jay McGuinness, who stars as central character Josh in the musical adaptation of 1988 film Big – the role made famous by Tom Hanks.
Jay, 29, won the 2015 series of Strictly with professional partner Aliona Vilani, and Craig was looking forward to keeping an eye on his footwork on stage.
He said: “Jay is a great dancer, we know that. He is the champion of champions isn’t he?
“He is also a fantastic guy, great singer, great look – I think he is going to do a fantastic job tonight playing the big kid, because that’s what he is.
“I know he will be fantastic, I have really high hopes.”
And Craig’s prediction was correct, with the former The Wanted singing winning a standing ovation from patrons as the feel-good show came to an end.
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Speaking to The Sun Online after the performance, Jay confessed that he tried not to think about his former judge watching from the crowd.
Big The Musical also stars Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh as toy exec Susan Lawrence, who Jay’s Josh falls for in the show.
The star’s former bandmates, Cheryl and Nicola Roberts, showcased their support for their pal at the gala, sneaking into her dressing room to wish her luck ahead of the show before heading into the audience to watch it.
Kimberley later told us that Big had got the girls’ seal of approval, sharing: “It was fun, they enjoyed it. They loved the show and thought it was the best show that I have ever done.”
Big: The Musical is at London’s Dominion Theatre until 2nd November, click here for ticket information
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