Stacey Dooley – ‘I love my job but I don't love the intrusions into my personal life’

Stacey Dooley
Stacey Dooley (Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Former Strictly Come Dancing winner and documentary presenter Stacey Dooley says the worst things about her job and modern life are social media and the intrusions into her private life.

The 34-year-old Luton-born film-maker told The Telegraph that she hadn’t anticipated the interest in her personal life when she embarked on her career.

“I do love my job,” she said, “but I suppose what I hadn’t anticipated when I became a bit more public-facing was the intrusion into my personal life. I hadn’t realised there would be such an appetite for it. That, I don’t love. But my job itself is wicked.”

Stacey added she found the attention funny because she ‘is so boring’.

“There’s no part of me that’s remotely hedonistic. I don’t drink or do drugs. I am so strait-laced.”

Social media is without doubt the worst thing about modern life as ‘it can feel so divisive with everyone feeling angry all the time’.

Stacey was involved in a controversy in 2019 when she went to Uganda on behalf of Comic Relief and was accused by Labour MP David Lammy of being a ‘white saviour’ when she shared a photo of herself with a local boy on social media.

“People can be really unnecessary and unkind,” she told The Telegraph. “I do sometimes think, in 20 years’ time, where are we going to be? What is the world going to look like? Although I do fundamentally believe that there are more good people in the world than there are bad.”

She revealed her triumph in the Strictly final in 2018 was also the scene of one of her worst moments on TV.

“When I flashed my knickers – well, my leotard,” she said. “It was in the final and you’re so knackered by that point, you’re just trying to get through the routine. I pulled my skirt too high in the paso doble and showed off my leotard. That wasn’t ideal.”

Post Strictly, Stacey has returned to her first career as a documentarian, interspersed with hosting duties on the likes of BBC Three series Glow Up and is proud of her work. But you won’t catch her watching repeats of her early programmes.

“I can’t even watch the programmes I made in the first five years. It was just me bumbling around. Whatever you do for a living you evolve and I’m much happier with where I’m at now.”

What to Watch team

The What to Watch team helps you find out the how, when, where and why of sports and entertainment. We provide a comprehensive guide to all the must-see movies and shows that are coming your way. Our expert recommendations will help you decide how to make the most of your viewing time and make informed choices on the best TV and home entertainment devices to buy.