Former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer AJ Pritchard has picked the three contestants he would love to see appear on the show next year, with controversial TV personality Piers Morgan topping his list. 

AJ spoke to us ahead of Halloween week on the show, and while many might find it ghastly to see Morgan strut his stuff on the Strictly dance floor, the dance pro believes it would be a breath of fresh air.

“It’s got to be Piers Morgan, doesn’t it?” said AJ, when challenged to name the one celebrity he’d love to see take part in Strictly’s 2022 series. “It would just absolutely crack me up to see him (Morgan) on it. I’d also love to see Jade (Thirlwall) from Little Mix. Lorraine Kelly has also got to take part next year.”

While it remains to be seen which stars will appear in next year’s line-up, AJ also discussed the upcoming Halloween week performances and recalls fond memories of taking part in the whacky and wonderful weekend.

“Halloween week is special, as there’s still a lot of people there taking part, and everybody goes a bit crazy and your adrenaline kicks in because the crowd absolutely love it. It’s so exciting. You can’t beat it!

“The great thing with Halloween week is all the costumes, hair and make-up are amazing, but you can also hide behind your performance behind all of this if you need to!

“For example, say Tilly (Ramsey) has a Cha Cha, which is a hard dance, she could hide behind the difficulty of it if she needed to with an unusual costume or different effects, which can just as easily wow the crowd over an inspired performance. There’s going to be a lot of amazing outfits this week and I can’t wait to see them.”

AJ has been impressed with a number of celebrities recently and picked out a few for special praise following last week’s performances.

“I have to say Dan (Walker) and Nadiya’s (Bychkova) Ballroom dance was great,” said AJ. “Allowing him to get into position, while she didn’t make it easy for him, showed how confident he was and he held it together so well.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Dan this week as I think the Jive is a great dance for him. I love him and what he’s done but sometimes because he’s got long legs, he can look a bit like a giraffe! Because it’s Halloween and depending on what costume he wears, it could be more amusing, and people will most likely love it no matter what!

“Someone might dance better but it comes down to emotions at times and I think people will like him and will always vote for him no matter what their routine is.”

While AJ believes that AJ Odudu will win this year’s show, he has called for more from the TV presenter in the coming weeks to show off her credentials and wow viewers.

“I wanted more from AJ and Kai (Widdrington),” he admitted. “Their Tango was amazing, but I felt like she didn’t put the attention into the toe at the end, so I was looking for a bit more there. You end up wanting more from everybody as the weeks go on. I’m sat on my couch screaming at the TV, but it can be hard for the contestants!

“The Argentine Tango is a fantastic dance, and I think what’s really nice about it has its own unique place. Both Tangos have been quite calm, and they haven’t been zero to 100. They have told a story and have been emotional, and I think that’s what we love about the dance. It shows relationship between the dancers together, and I think that’s why people are interested in it.”

When asked which dancers hold the best chance of scoring a 40 from the judges this week, AJ picked out his namesake and her partner Kai, as well as McFly star Tom Fletcher, as the two celebrities who could stand a chance of a perfect score.

“A 40 for AJ and Kai is where my money is going! It’ll be hard to get another 40 this week, but Tom Fletcher has the Tango and knowing the choreography that Amy (Dowden) will do, it means they might stand a good chance of getting one.

“It’s hard to say who will be bottom two this week, but I feel like Judi (Love) having the Cha Cha could be a bad sign after what’s happened the last few weeks. I also feel like Rhys (Stephenson) gets caught up in focusing on the hand position and I want him to replicate the couples dance by letting loose. If he doesn’t then he could be in the same position again. When it comes down to the public vote, he has to do well to ensure he’s in there at the top.”