Strictly's Maisie Smith and Kai Widdrington share flirty moment on the dancefloor during tour rehearsal

Strictly's Maisie Smith and Kai Widdrington share flirty moment on the dancefloor during tour rehearsal

January 30, 2022

STRICTLY Come Dancing alumni Maisie Smith shared a flirty moment with new dance partner Kai Widdrington after being called up for the show tour.

The former EastEnders actress, 20, who graced the dancefloor with Gorka Marquez on the 2019 series, has been partnered with the Strictly pro newbie for the upcoming tour.

It came after Kai's original show partner AJ Odudu was forced out of the 2021 final due to injury – with the painful incident also preventing her starring on the subsequent arena tour.

As such, Maisie was called up as a replacement and told how she was "thrilled" with her new gig.

Since the big reveal, the actress was seen giggling as rehearsals continued, after she was spotted cuddling up as they headed to dinner.

In a new cheeky clip posted on her Instagram page, Maisie reveals the fun they have in training – and the hilarious way Kai "shuts her up."

A short video posted to her Instagram page shows Maisie nattering away as Kai practises a hold, with her lifting up her head to continue the conversation.

Yet, understandably eager to nail the routine, he giggles as he gently pressed down on her forehead to return her to her correct dancing alignment.

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Maisie added the funny caption: "That's one way to shut me up," before tagging Kai's page.

She could also be heard giggling in the background as the scene played out.


Maisie and Kai will join Strictly 2021 winners Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice as well as Sara Davies and Aljaž Skorjanec, Tilly Ramsay and Nikita Kuzmin, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, and Max George and Katya Jones.

In addition to the couples’ dances, fans will see some breathtaking group performances throughout the show.

Professional dancers Nadiya Bychkova, Amy Dowden, Neil Jones, Jake Leigh, Cameron Lombard, Luba Mushtuk and Jowita Przystal will alldazzle on the dance floor and live music is coming from the Strictly singers and band.

Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli will star on the judging panel and former Strictly pro Janette Manrara is hosting.

Talking of her new role, Maisie previously said: ”I’m thrilled to be asked to restart my Strictly journey on this year’s arena tour.

"Kai and I will be dancing the Quickstep and the Samba – I can’t wait for rehearsals to start next week. It will be a joy to dance with everyone and so great to see my EastEnders friend Rose again. I wish AJ a speedy recovery.”

While a gutted AJ said: “I’m devastated not to be able to take part in the Strictly tour due to injury. I had hoped for one last dance with Kai, but I must obviously follow the medical advice. I wish my Strictly family the very best of luck on the road and I’ll definitely be there to cheer them on."


AJ announced her withdrawal from the competition in December after she was pictured hobbling to her last rehearsal.

She said: “I’m deeply upset that I am unable to perform in the final due to a torn ligament in my right ankle. Learning to dance over the last 13 weeks has been an incredible honour and to do it alongside someone as special, patient and devoted as Kai [Widdrington] is something I’ll treasure forever.

“Thank you to the Strictly family for the experience, the medical team for trying to get me back on my feet and mostly, to everyone at home for watching and supporting. You’ve made this experience one to remember.

“Strictly Come Dancing has been a lifelong dream and I’m glad it came true. Good luck to my partners in dance, John [Whaite] and Johannes [Radebe] and Rose [Ayling-Ellis] and Giovanni [Pernice]. I will be cheering you on (on one leg!).”

Initial reports revealed AJ would need to miss a day of training after undergoing a scan. 

Despite sustaining the injury so close to Saturday's final, it was "hoped" that  AJ would be fit for the show – but that did not happen.


AJ reached the last three after impressing the judges week after week with pro partner Kai.

In the semi-final they danced a very sultry rumba to Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee, and fans noted their chemistry was "off the charts".

The pair refused to confirm or deny if their connection is romantic, but it paid off as they sizzled on the Strictly ballroom floor and made it through to the final.

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