Craig Revel Horwood: 'I don't think you ever stop learning'

·5-min read
Craig Revel Horwood attends the press night of 'Anything Goes' at Barbican Theatre. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Craig Revel Horwood attends the press night of 'Anything Goes' at Barbican Theatre. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

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Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood has said he 'doesn't think he'll ever be happy' and that he wants to keep learning all the time.

The straight-talking Strictly judge spoke to Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast saying: "I don't think you ever stop learning. And I think that's important to always remember, that you're always somewhere where I don't think I'll ever be happy. I'll always want to keep learning more. 

"I think that's what life is actually, dare I say, a journey. But it is, it really is. And plus, you can stop, breathe, and then go on. But we've all got crossroads where we'll come to a stop." 

WATCH: Craig Revel Horwood spills behind the scenes Strictly goss and hints at the possible return of Lavish

"We have choices. And those choices that you make, they can be always rectified. That's the thing to always remember and consider, even if you're in financial difficulty, which we all have been. We've all been faced with difficulty in our lives as human beings. 

"And whether that's the search for food or winning the lotto or something, there's always something to actually work toward. I'll never really be happy with anything. If I went back, I would then change it all again. Or try and make it better. 

"Why was I so hard on myself when I was a dancer? Why was I so worried about my weight, which was ridiculous, because I was painfully thin.

Listen to the full episode to hear Craig Revel Horwood talk about dancing as therapy and the possible return of Lavish!

"This is where we go wrong in life, we worry too much about ourselves and our looks and this and that, and not enough about actually what's going on in your life, or how you're affecting other people. I think that's the important thing to remember: anything you say or do might affect that person."

He opened up about how some of his past experiences have helped him to become the person he is today. He spoke about when he was let go from a job in London's West End because of a dispute with theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh.

He said: "When I was sacked from Cameron Mackintosh. I thought: 'Oh, my God, what is gonna actually happen to me now? I have nothing.'

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing Launch. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"He did me the biggest favour in my life, he opened the doors. Yes [I was] thrown into the gutter. But I picked myself up. And I couldn't afford my mobile phone or anything but I got the most amazing gigs as a choreographer and it put me on the map. Then I did Spend, Spend Spend in the West End, and then suddenly, things became great again. 

"So you can be really in the gutter and get yourself out of it quite easily. And it's a frame of mind rather than anything else. And don't judge yourself too much."

He talked about how his feedback on Strictly is always given with the aim to improve the contestants' performance, and what he learned from his own experience on Maestro at the Opera.

Of his notoriously brutal Strictly feedback he said: "No one ever tells me what to say or do. I make up my own mind and decisions about scores and whatever I say to them, but I treat it always as I would my own dance company, or my own theatre company: with respect. 

"Even that being said, you've still got to tell people what is wrong with their performance. That happened to me on The Masked Dancer. And happened to me on Masterchef, every single day! On Maestro at the Opera, that I went on to win, which was amazing. 

(left - right) Marcus du Sautoy, Craig Revel Horwood, Josie Lawrence and Trevor Nelson at the Royal Opera House in London today, where it was announced they would be the new contestants of the BBC show Maestro at the Opera, a three part series in which precipitants will train to become an orchestral conductor.   (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Marcus du Sautoy, Craig Revel Horwood, Josie Lawrence and Trevor Nelson appeared on Maestro at the Opera. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)

"But I was crying, I was at home in tears. It really upset me. It was so emotional. Even watching it now really upsets me because I remember what I was going through at the time.

"I'd had a split up in a relationship. I was doing this to get myself out, elevate myself out of that situation. And I chose something that I thought would be an impossible task for me to achieve. 

"And actually, it was the most enlightening thing I've ever done. And I'd never sat at home crying with a baton in my hand before listening to music, but it just opened me up to a completely different other me.

"Conducting is like orchestrating your own way in life as well. I think we all have to go through bits and pieces in our lives to get on and to learn. And I think you have to be able to dust yourself off. People will say terrible things about you. 

Read more: 'Strictly' week two songs and dances released in full

"People will twist words, they'll try and paint you in a completely different light to what people see here now, and there's not much you can do about that. You can either choose to believe it or not, but you have to be resilient.

"I'm much nicer than I am on television. You see, I'm actually a loving, nurturing, gorgeous, huggy-type, fuzzy person.... Until I've had a drink! When I'm looking after a company of course I get to employ them... on Strictly Come Dancing I don't employ anyone.

"I literally have to sit there and suffer one minute 30 of really hideous dancing and then try and be nice!"

Buy it: Dances and Dreams on Diamond Street by Craig Revel Horwood | £10.79 (Was £14.99)

WATCH: Craig Revel Horwood reveals the hilarious and heartbreaking influences behind his drag persona "Lavish"

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