Janette Manrara and Fleur East spill all on Strictly’s It Takes Two return

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Janette Manrara and Fleur East are at the helm of Strictly Come Dancing’s It Takes Two spin-off this year.

The pair will be presenting the BBC Two series each weeknight from next Monday (25 September) and are promising a series “bigger and better and more glitzy” than ever before.

On returning to the series, a “buzzing” Janette said: “I feel like it’s going to be an incredible year just by looking at the line-up. The professional dancers are at the top, top of the game, they’re all absolutely amazing and it’s so wonderful to have our judges back, along with Tess and Claudia.

Janette Manrara
Janette Manrara. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

“And as we always say, it marks the lead up to Christmas, so whenever Strictly starts back up, I think everybody, not just myself gets super excited.”

Janette is joined by former Strictly finalist Fleur on this year’s show. The newcomer said: “It’s an incredible honour honestly because I had such an amazing experience on the show. Now it’s like a continuation of my Strictly journey which was such an important experience for me, so I’m really grateful I get to carry this on.

“I will just have so much empathy for all the contestants because I’ll know exactly what they are going through. I’ll know week on week, how their bodies will be feeling, depending on what dance they’re doing, because it’s ingrained in my brain, every muscle that was affected based on that dance I was doing each week.”

Janette added: “I loved watching Fleur’s journey last year and every single dance that she brought to Strictly was just absolutely incredible so I’m really excited to have her join the team.

“She’s already really engulfed herself in the whole world of Strictly so having her by my side and having her excitement and genuine love for the show and understanding for what it’s all about is really special. I can’t wait to get started.”

As for what we can expect from It Takes Two this year, Janette continued: “It’s just more fun, more entertainment, also more genuine involvement in the couples and their journey! Empathising with what they’re going through and getting to show everyone the behind the scenes stuff that really happens when the couples are learning their dances.

“It Takes Two always goes above and beyond to make every couple feel extremely special, so I think more of the same, apart from bigger and better and more glitzy!”

Fleur enthused: “Expect a lot of laughs, a lot of honesty and of course, a lot of backstage action. I’m looking at it with a different lens as a former contestant. Just everything we all love about It Takes Two.”

Fleur East
Fleur East. Credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston

Meanwhile the pair revealed that outgoing presenter Rylan had been in touch to wish the ladies good luck.

Fleur explained: “As soon as it was announced that I was taking on the role, Rylan sent me a message and said he was so excited and that I was going to have so much fun. I’ve worked with Rylan in the past and he’s an incredible presenter so I have got some big boots to fill but he’s really been so supportive.”

Janette added: “It was so special to do the first two years of me hosting It Takes Two with him because he’s such an incredible professional. He’s such a good presenter. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s got the biggest, kindest heart. And I couldn’t have asked for anyone to be a better partner to me, and to show me the ropes when I joined the show, so I’ll miss him but I’m super excited to be with my girl Fleur.”

Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two airs at 6:30PM weeknights on BBC Two and iPlayer from Monday, 25 September.