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Ricky Groves

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ricky Groves is best known for playing Garry Hobbs in EastEnders from 2000 - 2009. Before EastEnders he appeared in the series Burnside, a spin-off from The Bill. He participated in the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing and was paired with professional dancer Erin Boag. They were voted out in week 10.

BBC News on Ricky's departure on Strictly Come Dancing
"EastEnders actor Ricky Groves and dance partner Erin Boag have been voted off Strictly Come Dancing, as athlete Jade Johnson withdrew through injury. Johnson, partnered with Ian Waite, has failed to recover from a ligament injury sustained during training for the BBC One show. The long jumper said she was "absolutely gutted" to have to quit. Groves, this week's lowest scoring contestant, lost out in a dance-off with actress Laila Rouass. Groves had performed the Tango with Boag, but told the judges he knew he had made mistakes during the routine. He said: "You make mistakes, you've got to go, maybe it's my time to go." "I'm not making excuses, I mucked up out there." Head judge Len Goodman said there were "too many mistakes" and he "kept going wrong", while Bruno Tonioli said the performance ended "very, very badly".

Ricky's Score

Had you been a fan of Eastenders before you joined?
I was a fan and I remember watching it in the early days and seeing this gritty reality - it captured the mood of the nation. There was recession going on and it was dull and dark and it dealt with issues such as teenage pregnancy that hadn't been done on TV.

When I joined the show I started with the Slater clan and I was a bit of a side show part - they were the big deal - not me. My lifeline was when they decided to pair me with Minty. It gave Garry a new lease on life.

What was your favourite storyline?
There was a good one when Garry got lucky in love for a while and I think even in one episode he managed to sleep with three different women.

The one where I was working with Hannah and Garry might have been the father of her child was a favourite one too.

Was it hard to leave the show after nearly 10 years? - was it your decision?
I had a meeting with the director and we both agreed that we had taken it as far as we could at the time. It works like that sometimes - nine years and 800 episodes. He got to leave in the sunset with Dawn. The door is also open for me to come back so that's great. I suppose these days you can die and still come back.

Do people stop you on the street and what do they say?
It's more or less part of your life. People think they know you and think that you are Garry but I suppose there is a bit of Garry in me.

Did you like dancing before you joined strictly?
No not at all. I knew a few Eastenders cast members had done it and I decided I should give it a go. I was surprised I got so far in the end.

Did you join strictly to get fit?
Yes, that was a part of it. I was training for about 40-50 hours a week - that's a full time job.

Any accidents?
Tendentious because of repetitive strain on my foot, strained hamstrings - the usual array of bruises but I got away lightly.

Favourite Dance?
The Cha Cha Cha and the Paso Doble was great fun and challenging.

What was your last night on Strictly like - give us the behind the scenes goss...
I think everyone has been talking about Ali and Brian getting it together. I wish them luck and they will be going on the tour with me. They seem to be getting on rather well. They are this years strictly romance.

Was Hannah worried about you getting close to your dancer?
It's hard not to get close with your dancer but I am married and I love my wife and Erin is married. That's a done deal.

Were there tears / big party / hungover the next day?
It's funny we had to go back and do the last show - I felt this is the last time I'll be dancing with my partner - that was sad. The wrap party was last night. I was a bit hungover I must admit.

Did Hannah come and see you perform every week?
She came every second week as she is in Calendar Girls in the West End. She was on stage when I was dancing. We were like two ships in the night.

What did your mates think of all the fake tan and glitter?
I didn't care about that. I went in wholeheartedly I embraced it and I also thought that if you didn't do it you were disrespecting dancers as it is part of what they do. You can't change it for your own vanity or because you mates my laugh.

Yourself and Hannah have lost loads of weight - will you be watching the calories over Christmas?
I lost 2 stone - I have put on 6lbs. I want to get back being fit for the tour. I will be back training on the 3rd of January. At my age it's so easy to put the weight on and you have to work out to stay in shape. I will have to watch what I'm eating.

What's next?
There's the tour- Irish dates are in Belfast on the 16th and 17th of February and I have a few acting projects in the pipeline but nothing is concrete yet.

Have you ever been to Dublin before?
I have been to Dublin once before - I can't wait to come back.