Lancaster circus star jumps through hoops for TV bow

Holly Johnstone in action on the aerial hoop.
Holly Johnstone in action on the aerial hoop.
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Globetrotting acrobatic circus star Holly Johnstone will mentor Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps on the BBC’s latest Saturday night celeb talent fest – Tumble.

Globetrotting acrobatic circus star Holly Johnstone will mentor Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps on the BBC’s latest Saturday night celeb talent fest – Tumble.

Ian 'H' Watkins.

Ian 'H' Watkins.

Holly, from Lancaster, started her rise to fame at Turning Point Theatre Arts in the city before graduating from Circus Space, the

National Centre for Circus Arts in 2012.

The 22-year-old has already tasted success. She travelled to America using her acrobatic skills in ‘Batman Live’, a touring stage show based on the superhero comic books.

But the new BBC show in which 10 celebrities, including Sarah Harding from Girl’s Aloud and Mr Motivator, are taught complex acrobatic, gymnastic and circus skills, will catapult Holly into the nation’s living rooms.

“It is like Strictly Come Dancing but instead of dancing it is gymnastics, “ said Holly, a past winner of Lancaster and Morecambe Newspapers’ Talent on Show ‘search for a star’.

“Some of the flips and stunts are out of this world. People won’t be expecting what is going to happen.

“I did a three year circus degree and they recommended me to the BBC for this job.

“I was star struck to meet Mr Motivator. My mum used to watch his fitness classes on the TV in a morning and I grew up watching him.

“H is such a nice guy, such a gentleman he is a joy to work with and he is physically fit.

“We get on so well and he is a lot stronger than you would think he is.

“He really cares about doing well I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”

Holly’s speciality is the aerial hoops and she is hoping to swing to the top of the leader board.

She hopes the show will enable her to fulfil her lifetime ambition of performing with the Cirque Du Soleil.

When not training, Holly likes to relax by baking and has described herself as “an acrobatic version of Bree Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives”.