The acid-tongued judge has revealed he originally said no to appearing on the BBC ballroom show, believing it would be “car crash television”.
Speaking to during his All Balls And Glitter UK tour (via The Mirror), he said: “I was very uptight and stressed and my manager said I had to do it but I said ‘No. It sounds like car crash television. Celebrities trying to learn to dance in three weeks?’
“I thought it would never work and that it would be absolutely awful.”
As it turns out, Craig is now the only original judge left on the show, having appeared on every series of Strictly since it launched in 2004.
However, he was briefly replaced on last year’s series by Cynthia Erivo after testing positive for Covid-19, missing the Musicals special.
Craig also joked that his longevity on the show had also helped him buy a huge mansion.
He said: “Strictly has been going for so long and it has won the hearts of 60 nations worldwide. It is the record books for the most produced format in the world. Thank you for paying your TV licences as I have got a huge manor house.”
Strictly is not due to return until the autumn, but there is currently speculation as to whether Anton Du Beke or Bruno Tonioli will return to the judging panel alongside Craig, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse.
Professional dancer Anton stepped in for Bruno on last year’s series after the Italian was unable to travel back and forth from the US, where he also judges Dancing With The Stars.
Craig recently called for them both to have a spot on the panel in 2022, telling the MailOnline: “Bruno adds something Anton can’t and vice-versa, if you look at it that way, so I think they’ve both got different opinions which I think is perfectly good.
“We could easily have five people on that panel. I think our time would be limited because there are only two minutes for the judges to talk but we would make it count.”