How Strictly has changed finalists’ lives

Image copyright Guy Levy/ BBC Image caption The fantastic four: Gemma Atkinson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McFadden and Debbie McGee

“It’s a really life-changing thing that we’ve done. It feels like we’ve been altered, in a really good way.”

Joe McFadden is musing on his Strictly experience before he steps on to the dance floor for the last period during the show’s grand final at 18:30 GMT on BBC One on Saturday.

“It’s constructed me so much braver and more adventurous than I was before, ” he says, talking about the 13 -week roller coaster that’s taken him from ballroom beginner to debonair dancer.

Adventurous is one word for the daring cantilever move he and professional dance partner Katya Jones executed in the semi-final.

‘Beyond thrilled’

Jones hoisted the former Holby City actor to his feet in a tricky balance during their Argentine Tango which McFadden jokes has assured “doctors’ appointments go up 300% “, because of fans attempting it.

“We’re beyond thrilled, ” he beams, speaking ahead of the finalists’ press conference on their last day of rehearsals. “It’s fantastic to still be here. It’s lovely to have that hard work recognised.”

Strictly superstars in their own words Why some men won’t dance Behind the scenes at Blackpool Image caption Joe McFadden’s gravity-defying move Image caption Alexandra gives Debbie “Flexie” McGee a run for her money Image caption Gemma and Aljaz danced to Downtown in the Blackpool Tower ballroom Image caption Debbie and Giovanni did a routine to Memory from Cats in Musicals week

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