Bill Bailey’s triumph on Strictly Come Dancing means that the 2020 glitterball trophy will be sparkling on his Hammersmith mantelpiece on Christmas Day.
The comedian and musician danced his way to victory with partner Oti Mabuse, becoming the oldest celebrity to win the popular BBC television show last weekend.
“It feels surreal, it feels extraordinary, it feels wonderful,” he said as presenter Tess Daly declared them the winners, and the Strictly dancefloor disappeared under a blizzard of tickertape. “I never thought we’d get this far, I never thought we’d get to the final.”
The couple performed their showdance to Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. The comedian was not one of the favourites when the competition began but his dancing skills steadily improved as the competition went on, with the routine that he and Oti, 30, devised for the Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ winning him an army of fans.
Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for the Economy said: “We were willing him on in the final, and it’s a great feather in Hammersmith’s cap that Bill – who does so much for the arts locally – has been crowned this year’s Strictly champion.”
The 2020 Strictly series has been credited with lifting the nation’s mood during spells of lockdown with more than 13 million people watching the final.
Bill had to spend two months apart from his wife after forming a social bubble with Oti for the duration of the show.
A Hammersmith resident for 35 years, Bill first moved to west London when he lived on a houseboat moored by Hammersmith Bridge. He now lives with Kris (the pair met at one of his stand-up gigs in 1987), their son Dax and their chihuahua Pablo in a Victorian house in central Hammersmith.
Bill, 55, is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts in Hammersmith & Fulham, acting as official ambassador for last year’s Shepherds Bush Comedy Festival.
He is also a patron (alongside singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor) of Music House for Children in Uxbridge Road, the charity which encourages youngsters to learn to love music.
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