For her next adventure, Sheila Copps takes to the airwaves in silver shoes and a bright red chiffon dress dancing a sensual Latin number with a hot-looking guy.
On Oct. 5, Ms. Copps, 52, will appear on Radio-Canada, the French-language CBC, as one of the stars of a new reality television show, Le Match des Étoiles.
Loosely based on the U.S. show Dancing with the Stars, Ms. Copps is one of the first four star performers on the program. Judges, who include a former dancer of the Grands Ballets Canadiens and a theatre and movie director in Quebec, rate the dancing couples' performances; the winning couple from each show continues. There are to be 12, one-hour shows, including a gala in January.
A former deputy prime minister and long-time cabinet minister, Ms. Copps didn't run in the 2004 election after a nasty battle in which she lost her riding to Government House Leader Tony Valeri.
Instead, she dabbled in a little acting. She made her debut last October playing the role of Clairee Belcher in the play Steel Magnolias at a dinner theatre at the Howard Johnson's in Kingston. She received mixed reviews.
Well-known in Quebec, Ms. Copps was approached by the TV show's producers to participate. Much to their surprise, she agreed.
Ms. Copps said she originally had wanted to do a ballroom dance, but was asked, instead, to perform the salsa.
She and her partner, professional dancer Uriel Arreguin, spent 12 hours working on their two-minute and 20-second choreographed routine, rehearsing for part of the time at a studio in downtown Ottawa where Pierre Trudeau had learned to pirouette for the Queen.
The show was taped this week, and she was paid an honorarium of $2,000.
"It was so much fun. It was just amazing," she said. "It was like acting. It's very liberating. . . . Salsa? And dancing? And you've got this beautiful Latin guy on your arm. My husband said he was afraid I was going to run away with him."
Show spokesman Jean-Philippe LaRose said the judges enjoyed her dance, giving her high marks for style and performance. However, he said, one judge joked that her number looked political, "one step forward and two steps behind."
Sadly, she did not win.