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Strictly Come Dancing stars Anton Du Beke and Fiona Fullerton make themselves at home in Wanborough
THE SLEEPY village of Wanborough has emerged as the secret hideout of two celebrities plotting their route to glory across the weekend dancefloors of national television.
Fiona Fullerton, a Bond girl and former actress, and her professional dance partner Anton du Beke will be using a studio in the village as their base throughout the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing, which starts on September 27.
The pair began practising last week and had their fifth day of dancing together yesterday, when they split their time between Wanborough and Swindon Dance in Regent Circus.
Fiona told the Adver the studio in Wanborough had been selected as a convenient fit for the pair, with the actress turned businesswoman commuting from her home in Fairford near Cirencester, and Anton driving west from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
The duo have spent little time in the local area, with two trips to the New Calley Arms in Wanborough over the past week but no time for a proper tour of Swindon, though Anton struggled to find milk in the village yesterday.
He said: “It’s a lovely village, but what they need is shops!”
Much has been made of Fiona’s childhood ballet training by the national press, though she was keen to play that down yesterday.
“I haven’t danced for 42 years, it’s silly that it has been talked about as an advantage,” she said.
“They rang me out the blue and asked me to go on the show and I was so shocked I said no, but they gave me time to decide, and 36 hours later I agreed.”
In recent years, Anton has been partnered with former MP Ann Widdecombe and television personality Nancy Dell’Olio, which has encouraged him to push former dancer Fiona a little harder in training.
She said: “He’s a very good teacher, but I get the impression he has been partnered with the comedy person in the last few years, with Nancy Dell’Olio and Ann Widdecombe.
“I think he is pushing me a lot harder and I am finding that quite tough. I think he is just trying to draw out my past dancing experience.”
On the lessons thus far, Anton said: “It’s going very, very well. I’m very pleased.
“Fiona has been absolutely superb and we have had a tremendous first week. Things are going wonderfully well.”
The pair were photographed in an embrace at the New Calley Arms last week, but Fiona was keen to pour cold water on any notion it was romantic.
She said Anton was doing an impression of a European fan, who is known for cuddling him after shows on the continent with his professional partner Erin Boag.
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