Q Why did you sign up to the tour?
A I just really, really enjoyed the show, and it didn’t feel like I’d be doing the whole Strictly experience if I didn’t do the tour afterwards. I never even expected to get through week one, so to get to weeknine, it would have been a shame not to keep going. Especially in the year that you’ve actually competed, I think it’s nice to go on the tour. I had already decided before the Wembley show that I wanted to do the tour, but that really confirmed my feelings – performing in front of 6,000 people at Wembley was amazing and I’d like to do that again.
I also made really good friends with everyone and it will be great to hang out with them.
Q Will you be hitting a few bars with the others?
A Well, Lisa is a very bad influence, I must say. But I’m sure that after the show we’ll all be heading to bed. Okay, maybe not….
Q Is there a town that you’re especially looking forward to visiting?
A Well, Sheffield is my hometown and it’s also the last night of the tour – so that’s the last time I am ever, ever going to dance. That will represent my retirement from dancing!
Q Did you surprise yourself by how much you enjoyed Strictly?
A Definitely. I had never danced before in my life, so anything I achieved was going to be miraculous. On week one, I just wanted to go out there and manage to put one foot in front of the other. I honestly thought I’d be going on my holidays in October! I really loved the buzz of learning something new. It was petrifying, but in a good way – you weren’t scared to death,
you just get that good adrenalin pumping. It was a bit like going out to a match, so it was nice to recreate that feel-good factor.
Q What were you high and low moments?
A The high moment was definitely performing at Wembley to Frank Sinatra. I honestly didn’t have a low moment. The dodgy outfits, the criticism – I couldn’t care less! It was all great.
Q Were your wife and children thrilled by how well you did?
A Oh, definitely, they were so supportive all the way through it. My wife especially, because she’s seen me dance before, put it that way! So she thought it was an amazing turnaround.
We haven’t had time to go dancing together yet but we’ll see.
Q Will you stay in touch with your partner, Natalie (Lowe)?
A Oh, definitely. The people who really put the work in and make this show so special, and make the experience so brilliant, are the professionals. They work so hard and are so brilliant at doing all the choreography. You get a real connection with them because you’re spending so much time together and it’s their job to make that connection work. Natalie is a great mate.
She’s the latest in a line of good Aussie mates!
Q Did you get any ribbing from your cricket colleagues?
A No, not at all, actually. I think 10 years ago when Darren Gough was on it and Mark Ramprakash after that, people didn’t know as much about the show. But now it’s the biggest show on TV and everybody just has a huge amount of respect for it.
Q Is there a celebrity you’d love to see taking part on next year’s Strictly?
A Yes. He would never do it, but I’d love to see Geoffrey Boycott doing it. He wouldn’t dare do it because it requires too much vulnerability, but I think he’d be brilliant, so that would be my choice.