Jacqui Smith reflects on her Strictly Come Dancing experience

Jacqui Smith has said appearing on Strictly Come Dancing brought “a massive amount of joy” into her life.

The former home secretary became the first celebrity contestant to depart the programme on Sunday night.

Smith and her partner Anton Du Beke performed a samba to Help Yourself by Sir Tom Jones in the dance-off before being sent home.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Strictly Come Dancing 2020

She told the BBC’s It Takes Two: “This has brought just a massive amount of joy into my life and what I’m going to do is hold on to that joy and enjoy the rest of the series.

“In one way I have been unlucky because I have arrived on Strictly with the most brilliant set of dancers you could imagine.”

Before her last performance she said she had decided she was going to “give it my all and I feel pleased that I did”.

“I obviously didn’t want to go but I thought there was a risk so that’s why I decided, ‘Well look, I had had a brilliant time, let’s just go for it’.”

Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing

Du Beke said he thought Smith was “just getting started, to be honest”.

“We love a journey and I said before, from where we started on the launch show to where we have ended up really was an enormous improvement.

“We spent so much time laughing and having fun, we were working very hard but we have got a very similar sense of humour, which is so exciting for me.”

Smith said she thought Maisie Smith and HRVY are among the favourites to win the series but added: “Who knows, there are people who are really, really improving and that’s what people are going to want to see.”