Lisa Riley was born on August 5th, 1976. She’s most famous for her role as Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale and hosting You’ve Been Framed, but recently she joined the tenth series Strictly Come Dancing with professional dancer Robin Windsor.
Say what you want about her acting and presenting, but you’ve got to admire her. She knew what she was getting herself into when she signed up for this year’s Strictly. The weight comments were inevitable, but whenever someone comments on her size, she takes it on the chin. She’s even made jokes about her size herself, quipping that she and Robin are in contest to see who has the biggest arm muscles, and putting a spin on traditional dances with the woman lifting the man instead. She embraces the challenge of dancing and is one of the best dancers on the show. She’s a hard worker, she has great chemistry with Robin, and she’s always smiling. I’ve never seen such a happy contestant – such a happy person!
You can tell just from looking at her that she loves being on Strictly. Dancing is all about expression; it’s about fun and it’s about letting go. Truly great dancers let go of whatever’s happened in their life and focus purely on moving around the floor to the beat of the music. Her timing is impeccable, and even the practically impossible to impress Craig Revel-Horwood loves her. She’s not a perfect dancer by any means, but neither are any of the other contestants – that’s not what they’re paid for. In part, Strictly is – and probably always will be – a popularity contest, but much of that popularity isn’t just about their body of work, it’s also about how they appear on the show, and how could you not love Lisa’s attitude? She’s bright, bubbly, funny, confident, and talented. She always has a smile on her face – even when she’s done badly – and she takes into account feedback that she’s given without getting upset or punishing herself like some contestants.
She doesn’t ooze sex like Kimberley Walsh, and she’s not pretty and petite like Dani Harmer, but she knows that, and she’s ok with it. She’s comfortable in her own skin, and happy with her appearance. She’s a unique character that is nothing but positive and that possesses the kind of traits that we should all strive to possess.
Whether you’re a fan of Strictly Come Dancing or not, you can’t deny the example that she sets and will continue to set long after she’s finished the show (but, let’s face it, with dancing like that it won’t be for a while, and it wouldn’t be surprising if she went on to win).