Heather Mills cast for Dancing with the Stars because of a false rumor that she’d been cast

A false rumor in a British tabloid resulted in Dancing with the Stars‘s producers casting Heather Mills for the show’s fourth season.

That revelation comes in the new book, creatively titled Dancing with the Stars: Jive, Samba, and Tango Your Way into the Best Shape of Your Life. About half the book features detailed “fitness routines” for dancing, while the other half runs down all of the dances the show has ever featured, detailing the costumes, the technique, the judges’ comments, and the music used. There’s also a comprehensive list of every dance performed on every episode of the show’s first four seasons, complete with scores.

In the book, executive producer Conrad Green says that the rumor about Heather Mills’ casting led them to pursue her as a possible celebrity. “We read a false story in a British tabloid … that got us thinking that she would be a great story, and really inspiring to watch. [... W]e put out an offer and were astonished when she said yes. … Sometimes the tail does wag the dog!”

In the overview of the series’ history, which comprise the book’s introductory pages, Green also says that potential celebrities would only be excluded from consideration if they’d had “extensive” ballroom dancing lessons. “Often entertainers have had some dance training in their careers but only if they have had extensive training in the dances we use on the show would we consider it unfair for them to enter the competition.”

Dancing with the Stars: Jive, Samba, and Tango Your Way into the Best Shape of Your Life [Amazon]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.