Casualty star Sunetra Sarker may be able to convince us that she’s a doctor but does she have what it takes to win us over with her dancing skills?
Why did Sunetra say yes to Strictly? ‘I didn’t! I was a complete no. I’d said no and it was a really easy no because I can’t do things like this, not at my age! Then people kept saying ‘have another think, reconsider’. My agent said the same and it was still a no. Then I said to my son Noah, that they asked me to do Strictly Come Dancing and he said excitedly ‘Are you going to do it?’ Still it was no because I said ‘you won’t see me at the weekends – that’s our special time. Do you really want me to do this?’ He said yes, it would be so good, that he’d love to see me dancing on a Saturday night. I was like, ‘Really?’ Then I rang my Mum who’s mad about dancing and she said ‘You’ve got to do it’ then my sister said ‘You want to do this secretly’. Everybody seemed to think I wanted to do it secretly. It was complete bullying!’
Does Sunetra have the moves to take her all the way on Strictly? ‘Now that I’ve seen who I’m dancing with, a lot less than I thought! I like a boogie, I can keep up with the Macarena, I’ve always liked a bit of comedy dancing at a wedding. I think I’m a cheesy dancer if anything. I don’t rate myself as terrible – I have rhythm, but looking at the others, I’m going to be in the dance off a lot!’
Is she competitive? ‘I’m not. And I’m not going to pretend I am! I’ve got where I have in my life by being non-competitive. I fell into the industry and never wanted to be an actress. I decided to do something that fatefully made me an actor, but had I been competitive I would never have gotten where I am now. But I do better when I’m not competitive.’
Strictly Come Dancing returns at 8pm Sunday on BBC One. Watch Sunetra’s launch interview below: