Speaking to MailOnline ahead of the new series, the actor, 55, said he and Emma were originally planning to take their first holiday together in seven years before he was approched by bosses.
Greg added that he is taking part in this year’s Strictly in honour of his late sister Clare who was a huge fan of the show before her death in 2016 from cancer.
‘She said I’d be mad not to do it!’: Strictly’s Greg Wise revealed his wife Emma Thompson convinced him to sign up – and even cancelled their HOLIDAY so he could join the lineup
Greg, who married Emma in 1992 after they co-starred in Sense and Sensibility, told MailOnline: ‘I told my dear lady wife when they asked me and I said no and she said ”you’re mad you’ve got to do it!”
She’s been filming solidly since January and she finishes her last film tomorrow. We were going to have her first holiday together in seven years, but over the five minute conversation the autumn was kicked into the grass and she’s thrilled she’ll be able to relax and support me.’
Greg also revealed that he has spoken to his pal, and Strictly 2020 winner, Bill Bailey about taking to the dancefloor, after the comic wowed viewers and scooped the glitterball with Oti Mabuse last year.
Candid: Speaking to MailOnline, the actor said he and Emma were originally planning to take a holiday together in seven years before he was approched by bosses
He said: ‘When I was first asked to do I contacted him and he said ”you’ve got to look after your feet” and I’m interested in working hard and trying something completely new and seeing if this body will do what’s asked of it.
‘One of the things I’ve done is get my patent ballroom shoes ready because I think he had quite a problem with blisters, I think it was known as shoegate, I’m trying to get my feet as hard as possible.’
Greg had previously revealed that he decided to sign up for the show as a tribute to his late sister, and the Sense and Sensibility star added that she was a real ‘disco diva’ who adored the primetime show.
Touching: Greg added that he is taking part in this year’s Strictly in honour of his late sister Clare who was a huge fan of the show before her death in 2016 from cancer (pictured in 2014)
He told MailOnline: ‘I was asked and I thought ”no absolutely I can’t do it,” and then I thought about it, and almost exactly five years after my sister died we’ll be doing our first routines.
‘My sister was a real disco diva she was the dancer in the family and she left this world in a glitterball coffin, so as this world is all glittery I have to go it for her.’
Greg added that he’s hoping some of Claire’s closest friends can be in the audience for one of the live shows.
He added: ‘I’m 30 years in as a professional now and I’ve never even dreamt of trying to get something like this, it’s all about living slightly out of your comfort zone, I’m the oldest one here! I’ve got to try and emulate Mr Bailey from last year.’
Helping hand: Greg also revealed that he has spoken to his pal, and Strictly 2020 winner, Bill Bailey about taking to the dancefloor
While Greg confessed that he has a small amount of dance experience through his role in the Scottish musical Walking On Sunshine, he is more than willing to learn an array of different moves with his new professional partner.
He added: ‘I’ve been doing period films, those austenian line dancing where you walk around holding someone’s hand.
‘It’s uncharted territory, I have no signature dance moves at all. I had to do one on my own, and saying ”give us your moves” I said I haven’t got any.
‘It worked out the last time I was in a nightclub in the 1980s in Edinburgh, you don’t move your feet. Lord knows what it will look like, whatever happens now will be down to my brilliant teacher.’
Describing his ideal partner, he added: ‘Someone who will thrash me, I need bullying, I want to spend as much time as possible rehearsing, the more you come prepared the more opportunity to come to other places.’
Screen star: Join Greg in this year’s Strictly is rugby star and newly-appointed A Question Of Sport captain Ugo Monye
Joining Greg in this year’s Strictly is rugby star and newly-appointed A Question Of Sport captain Ugo Monye, who revealed he wanted to take part in a show so it was something that his two young daughters could enjoy.
He said: ‘When you think about Strictly it is the best show on TV, when they call you should take that call, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a little while.
‘I’ve got two daughters, Phoenix and Ruby, and they never got to watch me play rugby, my eldest starts school next week and she loves dancing, and I’d love to do it for them.’
The sportsman added that he’s already sought advice from 2020 contestant Jamie Laing about taking to the dancefloor.
Ugo said: ‘When you think about Strictly it is the best show on TV, when they call you should take that call, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a little while’
He told MailOnline: ‘He’s given me a fair amount of advice, he’s told me how tough it’s going to be, the amount of hours you spend dancing, but also how much fun you’re doing to have.
‘My experience of dancing is limited to nightclubs, stag dos and holidays, I’m not sure that’s what the judges are looking for on these shows, it is stepping into the unknown it’s really weird, it’s so exciting.
‘I’ve got friends of mine that are competing on the show, but it’s going to be your own journey on this, I’m just really excited about getting involved, that’s part of life it’s challenging yourself.
‘I’m really excited for everything that’s coming, I’ve already looked at my outfit and I’m game! You only every get to dio it once, I’m hopefully going to forever enjoy the experience.’
New challenge: The retired sportsman said he’s taking part in the show for his two daughters, who never got the chance to see him play on the rugby pitch
This year’s Strictly will see 15 celebrities take to the dancefloor with their professional partners, with the pairings set to be revealed in Saturday’s launch show.
Stars including actor Greg, comedian Judi Love, singer Tom Fletcher and presenter AJ Odudu will take to the dancefloor in their sequins in the hope of impressing the judging panel.
Despite the easing of Covid restrictions across the UK, bosses have confirmed that many of last year’s protocols will continue for this series, including couples forming Covid-safe ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform safely.
The show will also see the return of a live audience, after most of the 2020 series was plagued by England’s ongoing lockdowns.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 18th September on BBC One.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
Profession: TV presenter
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.