Glasgow & West Scotland

Joe McFadden: Child star to dance champion

Strictly winner
Image caption The winning moment: Joe and Katya take the Glitterball trophy

At this moment in time, the Strictly Come Dancing Glitterball trophy is the pinnacle of his career.

But in fact, Joe McFadden has had a very long and impressive acting career.

At 42, the actor is the oldest winner of the BBC Saturday night show, but his screen journey started at a young age.

Born in Glasgow, it was a teacher at Holyrood Secondary School who spotted the 12-year-old's potential and pushed him to audition for hit TV crime drama Taggart.

Image caption Joe was just a teenager when he starred in The Crow Road

After Taggart came STV flagship Scottish soap opera High Road, where a teenage Joe made his name.

Image caption The Crow Road set a lot of Scottish actors on their way to bigger things

A stint in theatre came next, seeing the actor hone his live performing skills in such diverse productions as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Rent and Rainbow Kiss.

Joe chose edgy roles next, in BBC dramatisation of the Iain Banks novel The Crow Road, alongside a young Dougray Scott, Bill Paterson and Peter Capaldi, and as a young musician in Sex, Chips and Rock and Roll.

Image caption Joe also starred in Sex, Chips and Rock and Roll
Image caption In BBC costume drama Cranford

More theatre roles, Scottish films and some television parts later, including Judge John Deed and costume drama Cranford, Joe's next popular role came on ITV drama Heartbeat.

Joe starred in the popular Sunday night staple as heartthrob PC Joe Mason from 2007 to 2009.

The Scot's biggest TV job came in 2014 when he landed a major role as Italian doctor Raffaello Di Luca in Holby City.

Image caption Joe Mc Fadden as Raffaello Di Luca on Holby City

In August 2017 he was announced as a participant in the 15th series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, partnered with pro dancer Katya Jones.

His Holby character was killed off in early December, a secret he had to keep while doing press interviews for Strictly.

Image caption Joe's character in Holby was killed in early December

Joining the Strictly cast, he told the BBC: "I've done little bits of dance over the years in the few musicals that I've been in, but they were more for comic effect than for showing off any dance prowess.

"I was particularly blown away by the exceptional standard of last year's three finalists Danny, Louise and Ore.

"If I could have a fraction of their ability at some point then I'll be made up."

Joe's popularity grew over the weeks and he was crowned champion on Saturday night in front of 13.1 million viewers.

He was overwhelmed by the support and by how much he enjoyed it.

He said before the series: "I'm slightly nervous about the spray tans, I don't want to go the full oompa-loompa."

Fortunately for fans, he embraced the whole experience and Saturday's win will undoubtedly open new doors for the actor.

Beating Debbie McGee, Alexandra Burke and Gemma Atkinson, Joe has been inundated with messages of congratulations, including one from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Image caption The couple were the best on the night

She tweeted: "Brilliant! Well done to the lovely @mrjoemcfadden - well deserved @bbcstrictly champion.

Even the prime minister joined the congratulations, tweeting: "It's been fantastic watching the talented #Strictly stars over the past few weeks - congratulations to @mrjoemcfadden, commiserations to my constituent @thedebbiemcgee! #StrictlyFinal".

More on this story

Around the BBC