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Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace on their new show Dance 'Til Dawn

Stars of hit BBC series bring their Dance 'Til Dawn stage show to the Empire

Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace in Dance Til Dawn (Picture credit: Manuel Harlan)

VINCENT Simone is incorrigible. But then that's probably not news to anyone who has had even a passing flirtation with Strictly Come Dancing.

The twinkly Italian is in the middle of explaining what audiences can expect if they come to see Dance 'Til Dawn, his latest stage show with professional partner Flavia Cacace.

"There's a story, a sort of love story in the background, as usual," he says, "because that's what I do best - love."

He may be on the other end of a phone, but you can just tell there's an eyebrow being arched as he speaks.

Love story aside, the pair have abandoned Argentina (their hit show Midnight Tango was set in a Buenos Aires milonga) in favour of the bright lights of Hollywood.

"We did Midnight Tango for three years, and we didn't want to create something similar that would be compared to it," says Flavia.

"We thought, right, if we do something else then we've got to push the boundaries further - but it's got to be something completely different. And I think we've achieved that.

"It's 1940s Hollywood and it's a comedy. People are leaving with a smile. We chuckle backstage still."

In fact, it's a comedy thriller with a murder plot and a narrator to link together the story, as well as a host of different dance styles on display, from quickstep to Charleston.

"There's a lot of acting," Vincent reveals. "And we've got the best dancers. We had 500 audition for us and they were all really good. So imagine, we got the best of the best!

"We're really proud of it."

They point to the reaction they've had since they took to the road a month ago, and there's a clear sense of relief this most ambitious show to date is a hit with fans.

The pair became household names when they joined Strictly in 2006 - Flavia won the 2012 series with celebrity partner Louis Smith - although last season they took a break to concentrate on their stage work.

This year marks their 20th anniversary as professional partners.

"We were teenagers, and we were hungry to win UK championships and make it to the top so we could do the European and World championships," Flavia recalls.

"That was pretty much what we thrived for and we sacrificed a lot at that time. We ticked all the boxes and got all our titles."

They were UK Professional Ten Dance champions for four years, Professional Showdance champs for three, UK ballroom stars for several more, and World Argentine Tango show champions in 2005/6.

While they're still driven, life has changed in recent years for both.

Vincent now has two young sons, "my sausages" he calls them, and while he admits to being a perfectionist who dreams of choreography in his sleep, being a family man is important.

"Everyone in the cast, when they finish a show they can go and put their feet up," he says. "And I'll be pretending to be Spider-Man.

"So it never stops, but I'm glad because it makes me switch off."

Meanwhile Flavia tied the knot last December with actor Jimi Mistry, whom she partnered on the 2010 Strictly series.

"You get older, and things happen," she laughs. "But it's all good, and I'm certainly the most settled I've ever been and the most happy and content with everything.

"When you're young - I think we were obsessed with the dancing.

"Now we've got normality, we've got lives, we've got families and so when you come back to it, you come back fresh, and almost end up putting more energy into it."

Dance 'Til Dawn is at the Liverpool Empire from March 31 to April 2

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