Sunday sit-down with… Strictly Come Dancing’s Vicky Gill
We caught up with the Stanley local – who just so happens to be the brains behind the breath-taking ballgowns, sequins and costumes on Strictly Come Dancing
By Jo Dunbar
Fans of Strictly Come Dancing have been eagerly awaiting the start of the 2021 season where, once again, 15 celebrities and their pro partners will take to the ballroom in a bid to waltz, salsa, foxtrot and jive their way to the glitterball trophy. And since 2012, it has been the North East’s very own Vicky Gill who has ensured that every costume on Strictly sparkles each and every week. Which, considering the amount of themed weeks the contestants dance through – including Movie Week, Musicals Week and Halloween – is no mean feat.
After studying at Newcastle College, Vicky headed down south to try her luck in costume design and boy, has that decision paid off! Strictly aside, Vicky has also designed for Kylie Minogue’s stage shows, Girls Aloud and Cheryl. We spoke to Vicky about being part of such a huge TV show, missing her native North East and her uber-glamorous job.
Did you always have ambitions to work on such a glamorous TV show and design for Kylie?
It’s a tough one. I knew I wanted to work in a creative arena, but I very much think that life has taken me on a journey. When an opportunity presented itself, I took it and tried my best to do a top job, which then moved me along to the next thing. I am quietly relentless with things.
You come from County Durham. Do you miss the North East?
OMG, I so miss not being able to pop home and see everyone! My visits are always fast and furious, jam-packed with lots of northern fun and games.
I’ve lived away from home since I was 18, but I still consider the North East as home. It’s a lovely part of the world. I may look at it through rose-tinted glasses, but you certainly receive a warm welcome in the North East. There are lots of big hearts here.
What do you love most about the region?
I feel I need to re-acquaint myself with the area. These days it’s less of a night out on the town and more of a flying visit – meeting family at Tynemouth for a coffee and a catch-up, shopping in town. Bamburgh Castle is a Gill family fave.
Do you still get ‘pinch me’ moments?
It’s very surreal. I’ve met and worked with some wonderful people and feel very grateful for all that has come my way. I just love my job, supporting the team, finding solutions. In many ways, I feel I have only just come out of my apprenticeship. I charged out of the gallery at the TV studios the other night and barged straight into Robbie Williams and his gang on their way to set! I felt like such a prat, so, yes, I do still have to pinch myself, but more to have a little word with myself to not behave like a madwoman rushing around! Behaving more like a swan is what’s required going into live shows.
Strictly Come Dancing has returned to BBC1 every Saturday night from 7pm