From February, 2015....
The Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour ended a few weeks ago and we have heard nothing but wonderful reports about it. When we last spoke you mentioned some favorite tour moments, so now we are hoping you will tell us a little more about the cast and crew who made it all work so well.
We had a great cast and crew. Rachel danced with Kevin so it was great to have her there. She was my tea buddy – haha. Aljaz and Alison - Ali is a great guy. We used to room together on Burn The Floor and Alison is big and bubbly, loud but funny so we got on great. Karen and Mark - I danced with Karen on BTF and Mark is a cockney so he had banter all day everyday which kept us all entertained. Thom and Iveta - Iveta is the best. I like her more every time I get to spend time with her and Thom is a top bloke. We have kept in touch. He is just one of the lads like my mates back home. Simon and Kristina - Krissy I danced with on Strictly and Simon is cool - although he supports Man Utd I still have time for him. Scott and Joanne - two super nice people. Jo loves a sing song - haha! Trent was our dance captain and he had a fair amount of work rearranging things with people going off sick or injured - haha - and then the hardest workers who danced most on the tour with all the appearances in individual numbers and then group numbers - Gordana, Jasmine, Jake and Callum. The judges were great - Tom Chambers, Camilla Dallerup and Craig Revel Horwood. Zoe Ball hosted, and I think she is the best fun on the tour. I loved working with her and Lisa Reilly covered the last two shows in London as host. She is fun - we had met while doing the Christmas special this year.
A question about tour logistics: You have traveled extensively over the years and probably know how to manage it well, but since you remained on the road for the entire tour, were there any difficult moments? (packing for a long trip, food on the road, boredom, getting enough rest, etc.) Did you manage to explore some new cities and/or places?
Tour can get boring, yeah for sure, but you have to keep yourself entertained. For me it usually revolves around going out and then working but as I was off the booze for the last few months I mainly stayed in or went to the gym. The food was beautiful. We had a catering company that travelled with us and they cooked up a storm each day. Then being in the UK it was perfect for catching up on the football. I could watch with Kev and Ali and then the Six Nations had started near the end so I watched that with Thom. That was a great part of UK - being able to watch the sports at normal hours and then obviously travelling and seeing some places I hadn't before. I loved going back to Glasgow and Leeds.
I’m a terrible packer for short and long trips but because I don't own too much stuff and since we have no home base I pretty much had everything I own with me!
Your smiles throughout Strictly Come Dancing 2014 made your supporters smile a lot too, and we are all hoping to see you back for the 2015 series. What was the best part of it all?
I absolutely loved being on Strictly, yeah. I loved the change of scene but most of all it was a just little more laid back and not so dramatic. I think the best part was just meeting the cast. Everyone was really comfortable with themselves and everyone is on the same page so it was a really nice environment to be around, and the crew there put people in their place if there was ever a hint of someone not pulling their weight or stepping above their station ego-wise. Haha!
We know that Caroline was a little nervous performing the American Smooth and Charleston while Pasha watched from the audience, but it certainly didn’t show. First of all, what did you say to Caroline to keep her so calm and second, how did you feel knowing that Pasha was there watching and supporting all the way?
I didn't really say anything to be honest bar “what’s the worst that can happen?" I actually didn't know Pasha was at the show until after the first number. A few people from the show had come that night but I wasn't really paying attention when everyone was telling each other. I just managed to spot someone in the crowd I recognized (Frankie’s sister) and then I realized it was a whole bunch of Srictly people - ha! I think it was great to see them all there and enjoying it. I think afterwards they all wished they had been part of it but Pasha for one has his own tour coming up which I’m sure will be amazing. He is a top, top genuine guy. I have a lot of time for him.
Along those same lines, is it ever difficult to perform a dance when the choreographer is in the audience, or is that something you have grown used to after all this time?
No, it’s not a problem who is in the audience to be honest. Everyone’s dollars cost the same so when you have a packed out house the last thing you should be worried about is what one person is there amongst the thousands. There is nothing you can do different really no matter who is there, and if there is, well then maybe you aren't doing your job every other night. I think everyone gets excited when they have someone they know in but for some it’s nerves, for some it’s OTT, and for some it is what it is......
You had an insanely busy schedule from the summer Holland America cruises straight to Dance Temptation, Strictly Come Dancing, the Christmas Special, and the Strictly Live Tour. When you manage to get down time, do you miss the constant teaching, rehearsing, performing and travel? Do you ever slow down or do you prefer to always be busy?
I’m getting my down time now so I have no complaints. This past year has been great and I have been kept very busy so long may it continue. I like a little time off now and again, yeah for sure. I get to see my wife every night and morning so that’s the most important thing, and now we have some time off together but it doesn’t take long for me to get bored of not working and I’m not one for sitting in the sun everyday for hours so I’m back doing bits and pieces now and always keeping busy with different things.
When you were doing your dance training back in the day, were you on a specific schedule (such as so many lessons per week)? When did you first begin competing? What about the Irish dancing?
Honestly I have the worst memory. I think my ma said I started when I was 9 but I don't know how often a week I danced - I guess maybe once or twice for a few hours at a time but I did other things when I was that age so it wasn't the be all and end all of it. I think that’s why I can separate myself from dancing when it annoys me and enjoy it so much when I come back to it.
Same as Irish dancing - I can appreciate it more now but it was compulsory to do it in primary school so I guess just while I was in school maybe once a week as well. I never did any more after school and I wasn't really any good in school at it or had an interest. Like most things, you only appreciate it after when you look back on it. My cousin Claire was a champion Irish dancer and was in Riverdance though.
We loved seeing you dance with Gladys back in August at the Hollywood Bowl. Do you have any plans to dance on stage with Gladys again?
I have no plans to dance with Gladys coming up, no, although she is doing a UK tour next month so if I’m around I will for sure be catching up with her. I was in Vegas last week and she called but we didn't have the time to meet up that trip - maybe next time.
Is there anything you can share with us about what is coming up between now and the P&O Strictly Come Dancing Mediterranean Cruise beginning in late May?
I have no plans at the minute - at least nothing I can share. Some things come up last minute and I see if I can or can't do it or want to. The cruise is in May sometime but I don't know yet what I’m gonna do in the meantime. Just gonna play it by ear.
Finally, we have asked you to describe a lot of things and people (including the MacManiacs/MacLunatics) but what 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 62 times and in honor of our website forum reaching 1 million views in February, 2016, we decided to bring them all back beginning with the first one. We hope you enjoy this very special feature. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.