Hits Radio Breakfast Show host Fleur East prompted an emotional response from listeners this morning when she talked about the personal meaning of this week’s Strictly song choice. It’s Movie Week this Saturday, and Fleur and partner Vito are dancing an American Smooth to Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid.
Speaking to co-hosts James and Matt, Fleur said: ‘At the start of my Strictly journey I gave a whole list of songs to the team and just slipped in this one and mentioned that The Little Mermaid was my favourite movie. I’m guessing they looked at that and here we are! I’m so excited. This is genuinely my favourite Disney movie of all time and I know this song inside out and back to front. I’ve sung it since the age of seven word for word.
I’m going to be Ariel, Vito is Prince Eric and what makes it even more exciting is that in May next year the new remake of The Little Mermaid is coming out. The trailer for the film went viral recently because Ariel is played by Halle Bailey who is a black girl, so for the first time Ariel is going to be played by a woman of colour.
This representation is huge and you can see that from the video compilation that went viral of all these little girls watching the trailer and saying ‘Mummy. Ariel looks like me’. It just shows why this representation is so important and weirdly I’m going to play Ariel before Halle gets to play her. It’s going to be really, really special. Although I don’t know how I’m going to dance in my fins! I’ll leave that up to the costume team - they are amazing and I’m sure they’ll work it out….’
This heart-felt discussion prompted listener, Sarah-Jane, to call in. She shared with Fleur:
‘I’m really looking forward to watching you dance to this song – it just makes me cry. It’s so representative of anyone who has felt like an outsider, at any time in their lives. I’m not sure Disney actually meant for that, but it is.
My Dad died when I was very young, and it was always that just I had a Mum when I was growing up and that made me feel like an outsider. It’s been very emotional watching Strictly this year, I don’t know whether it’s because it’s the first full show back after the pandemic, but everyone needs a bit of Strictly glitz and glamour in their life!’
Fleur replied: ‘I’m really happy you shared that with me Sarah-Jane because it has given me a new meaning to that song and now, I’ll have a different intention behind it when I’m dancing it. Thank you.’