SCOT Susan Calman says she has a simple goal in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing – don’t get booted out first.
Comedian Susan, 42, is one of the 15 hopefuls who’ll take to the floor on the big launch show on Saturday.
Singers Aston Merrygold, Mollie King and Alexandra Burke are among the early favourites to win according to the bookies, with Susan joining chef Simon Rimmer and This Morning star Ruth Langsford as prime candidates for a quick exit.
But Susan told The Sunday Post: “I just want to have fun and learn to dance. If I get past the first week of the public vote then that would be more than I could have imagined.
“This isn’t about winning, it’s about having the best time possible.”
Susan may be concerned about how much support she’ll have when the voting lines open, but she says she’s already had vocal backing in her home city.
“The public have been very supportive,” she explains. “I was in a shop in Glasgow and a man shouted at me: ‘Good luck in the dancing, wee yin. We’ll love you even if you’re rubbish!’ That’s lovely.
“People are so excited that I’m on the show and any support I get is much appreciated. I’m going to dance as well as I can and do myself proud.”
Susan, whose wife Lee Cormack has given her fullest backing, has been the subject of attacks by trolls commenting on previous pictures of her in a suit and tie.
But she hit back sharply on Twitter and got backing from Harry Potter author JK Rowling who tweeted: “Stay fabulous, my dancing queen”.
Susan admits the glittery world of the BBC’s biggest show is a whole new experience.
“It’s very much outwith my comfort zone. I don’t usually wear dresses or heels – or make-up!
“I’ve never had a fake tan in my life and the heels are instruments of torture.
“But you have to throw yourself into the experience. I’ve been a superfan of the show for years and it’s such a privilege to be part of it all.” She does, though, say she’s already feeling the pain. “My feet hurt a lot. I’ve been wearing the shoes around the house, but it’s not really helping. I haven’t even danced in them yet.
“I find myself practising the cha cha cha in the supermarket and in the shower.
“I have to say that once to start dancing, it’s quite infectious.
“You can’t stop.”
The launch show will see all 15 celebrities, including Susan’s fellow Scot, actor Joe McFadden, paired with their professional dancers and take part in an opening group number.
New pros Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell and Nadiya Bychkova have joined this year after the departure of Oksana Platero, Natalie Lowe and reigning champ Joanne Clifton.
The first show will also pay tribute to former host Sir Bruce Forsyth, who died last month.
The celebrities have already had their outfits on for a red carpet entrance last Monday.
“It was nerve-wracking standing waiting to walk down the red carpet,” added Susan. “I’ve never experienced anything like it before.
“Once we got started it was very exciting and the support of my fellow contestants means a lot. They’re a lovely bunch of people and I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Strictly Come Dancing: The Launch Show, BBC1, Saturday 7pm.