Strictly star Greg Wise has disco ball installed his hallway — after sign from beyond the grave from his late sister

HIS American Smooth failed to get the Strictly Come Dancing judges on their feet during the first week of the competition.

But Greg Wise’s daughter Gaia thinks her dad will wow them when he is properly able to flex his muscles on the dance floor and do the iconic lift from Dirty Dancing.

The 21-year-old budding actress — whose mum is stage and screen star Emma Thompson — says: “I think living with two women, it has made him a Dirty Dancing fan. He wants to give something iconic a go.”

Gaia adds that actor Greg is taking the competition so seriously he has restricted his diet and has been training non-stop with his dance partner Karen Hauer.

But when the going gets tough, Gaia says her mum is giving him no sympathy. She says: “If he complains, my mum normally comes back with, ‘Oh you think that’s hard? How about trying pregnancy?’

“I think everyone finds it harder than they expected.”

The family have a holiday home in Argyll, and Gaia continues: “Dad’s always been incredibly fit because when we are in Scotland he’s constantly on the land, and working on the land basically, so he’s very fit.

“He’s avoiding heavy carbs, but apart from that he’s trying to enjoy the experience as much as he can.”

Gaia and Emma were in the audience for the first live show of the BBC1 competition cheering on Greg. He is best known for playing Lord Mountbatten in TV’s The Crown and John Willoughby in the 1995 film version of Sense And Sensibility — where he met Emma.

Gaia reveals that he decided to go on Strictly following the death of his sister Clare in 2016 from bone cancer, after Greg acted as her carer 24/7.

She says: “My dad is doing Strictly for my auntie. She loved disco and she loved Strictly and she was a huge part of my life, and my dad’s life, so he’s doing it for her.

“My mum and I like to think we were taken over by her, wherever she is now, and she sort of went, ‘Buy a glitterball. Why don’t you get electronic ones with the lights on the walls?’ Although Mum and I said, ‘I think that’s a bit far’.

“She had a glitterball coffin which she was cremated in, and she went in to Staying Alive by The Bee Gees, and came out to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, so she was referred to as the disco queen in our family.

“After the glitterball coffin, Mum and I said, ‘I think she’s telling us to get a glitterball for the house’.

Greg is dedicating his dance tonight to Clare and will perform to If You Could Read My Mind by Ultra Nate, Amber and Jocelyn Enriquez.

He and Karen have worked on a freestyle dance for the song, known as the couple’s choice, which allows them to include modern and disco moves instead of sticking to the usual Strictly classics. Greg said yesterday: “I’m here for my sister, who was a big disco girl. What’s really gorgeous about the song is that it’s about lost love and the unattainable.

“What we’ve put together, hopefully, if it works and I don’t fall over, is almost like a Greek myth of the love coming back from the underworld for a brief moment of celebration and then she has to go again.

“So if we get it right, I think it should tick quite a few boxes.

“It should be emotional and emotive and explosive, and then very quiet, which is lovely for a disco.”

Away from the dance floor, Gaia says she and Emma try everything to keep Greg’s spirits up — including performing their own routines when he returns from gruelling training sessions.

And she says it is her mum, whose films include the Cruella de Vil, Nanny McPhee and Harry Potter franchises, who is the driving force behind the comedy stunts.

She adds: “I said to Mum it might be traumatising if we try and do this, and she said, ‘Oh he’ll be fine’.

“So I’m going to trust the woman who has known and lived with him for significantly longer than I have.

“He came home from his first rehearsal to a giant glitterball in our hallway that Mum had put up, and me in a vinyl boiler suit with a wig and wearing heart-shaped disco dot glasses, and we were dancing to One Way Ticket.”

But has Gaia been helping Greg with his moves? She replies: “Not yet, and if he tries, I’m going to run out.

“It’s why I’m very glad I’m not living at home any more.”

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