Strictly speaking, Fern was a dance star 30 years ago
08:05 GMT, 18 September 2012
The best dancers start young. So Fern Britton certainly has an advantage as she prepares for her next appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.
In a spangly silver leotard, legwarmers and gold belt, 25-year-old Fern was strutting her stuff all the way back in 1982 on the BBC regional show That’s Rich.
Her enthusiasm for tap dancing certainly made up for any lack of technique.
Scroll down to see the dance
Not Strictly a beginner: Fabulous Fern displaying her tap dancing talents on local BBC South West show That's Rich in late 1982
Miss Britton, now 55, recalled her earliest attempts at dancing during Strictly’s launch show on BBC1 on Saturday.
Dancefloor diva: Miss Britton at the Strictly photocall
‘I did a tap dance routine on television
many years ago,’ she said.‘I remember I quite enjoyed it, but I have to
say I’ve forgotten most of the steps. So I am starting from scratch with
That’s not Strictly correct though. Miss Britton also appeared on Strictly’s Christmas special in 2010, when she took to the dancefloor after gastric band surgery.
Yesterday fellow contestant Jerry Hall arrived for the first day of rehearsals with her partner Anton Du Beke.
But maybe the pace was faster than she thought.
She was spotted having a cigarette break just 25 minutes into the session.
Miss Hall, the ex-wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, arrived by chauffeur-driven limousine at 1130am at the dance studio.
She smiled broadly as she went inside, dressed in blue training shoes, black leggings and a brown mackintosh.
But she could barely have had time to air-kiss her dance partner before she was out again.
At 11.55am, Miss Hall emerged to take her first cigarette break.
Dancing queen: Fern with Brendan Cole on Saturday night's opening Strictly show
Confident: Fern has been paired with former Strictly winner Artem Chigvinstev for this year's show
She sat on some steps outside the studio puffing away with non-smoker Mr Du Beke looking on, seemingly rather exasperated.
The pair sat in the sun for 10 minutes before returning to the studio to get back to their first day of training.
Miss Hall then came out for another cigarette several hours later.
To watch Fern's 1982 tap dancing routine, click here for video.