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EXCLUSIVE! Julian Benson says he was ‘very proud’ of Johnny Ward for performing on DWTS following the death of his father

Julian Benson said he was “very proud” of Johnny Ward for performing on Dancing with the Stars following the death of his father.

We chatted to the DWTS judge at the launch of the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2019.

Julian missed two weeks of the RTÉ show as he was unwell and returned to the judging panel over the weekend.

Speaking of his return, Julian told “I was thrilled to be back in the hot seat. But what a weekend to come back on. It was great to be back.”

Pic: Brian McEvoy

“Obviously with Johnny it was emotional at the same time. But I was very proud of him and I was proud of how everybody handled it, but it was a wonderful night,” he continued.

Julian also admitted that it is extremely tough to predict a winner for this year’s show and said: “Well here’s the thing, I don’t have any favourites because you can’t have favourites because I’m a judge. But here’s the thing, I think we’re going to have an amazing final and this year who knows.”

“Will it be a girl, will it be a boy? Will it be a man, will it be a woman? We just don’t know who is going to take the title and that’s the magic of this show. So what I say to people at home, if you have a favourite vote, vote, vote. Don’t sit back and go ‘ah they’re grand.’ You’ve got to pick up the phone, so that’s what it’s about.”

When asked if he was shocked by how great any celeb was at dancing, the judge said that he was surprised by how much they progressed throughout the competition.


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Live in action! 🙂 role on week 4! #captainsparkle @dwtsirl @rteone

A post shared by Julian Benson (@judge_jules_offic) on

“No, do you know what, it’s really not about that because in this show we’re taking amateurs and trying to turn them into professionals. So everyone starts at a certain level.”


“What surprises me is how good they get and they develop on the journey, that’s what surprises me. It’s brilliant to see from week one to week ten or week twelve, how they progress. So that’s fabulous.”

As for Julian’s style, the 48-year-old described his fashion sense as “individual.”

“I suppose I’d call it individual. I have many different looks, I’m like a chameleon. My style goes with my feelings and emotions. So I can go for high glamour and sparkle, or I can be demure understated and classic. Or I can be hippy or street chic. So it’s a mixture of everything, an eclectic mix of everything.”

Pic : Brian McEvoy

The talent agent also told us what he sees style as: “Style should be individual. I always say style should be individual and you should dress for how you feel and the way you want to portray yourself because style reflects who you are. So always be true to yourself in style and always shine a light. As my mother always  said ‘turn your best foot forward looking good, feeling fabulous’ and that’s what i always say.”

Julian’s unique outfits on Dancing with the Stars are always the topic of conversation and the judge revealed what goes into the thought-process of his extravagant style on the programme.

“Well my style on the show, it’s like my baby. So I have an amazing earth angel called Claire Garvey. She’s a very renowned Irish fashion designer, because I like to support Irish fashion first of all.”

“So we get together a good few months before the show and we talk about looks and styles, and then she creates the magic. So like that, what you see on the show is a reflection of who I am – sparkle, glamour, glitz. I like to have something unique, so they’re one-off pieces created especially for me for the show.”


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Thank you @clairegarveydesigner_ for another #smashtastic look! #love @dwtsirl

A post shared by Julian Benson (@judge_jules_offic) on

Fans can get excited about the judge’s outfit for the final of Dancing with the Stars as he described the look to us: “Watch Ireland, bling it on! The final, we are going sparktacular, box office-stowed. It’s going to be smashtastic, stylistic. Just watch this space, that’s all I can say.”

Check out Julian’s full interview below:


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