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Strictly Come Dancing 2016: meet Ed Balls

The former Shadow Chancellor is partnered with Katya Jones.

Ed Balls
Credit: BBC

Every year on Strictly Come Dancing a politician joins the celeb contestants and this year it’s former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

During the launch show Ed made a lot of viewers laugh with his ‘just putting out a fire’ arm waving moves and it looks like he could be this year’s most entertaining contestant.

When asked why he’s taking part in Strictly Ed revealed, “Strictly has always been our family’s favourite show, we’re total Saturday night Strictly addicts but I never thought I’d have the chance to be on it myself, it’s a dream come true really. Yvette is hugely envious she’s always wanted to be on Strictly, she’s a great dancer so she said to me you’ve got to do it – so I’m doing it for Yvette.”

Prior to agreeing to do Strictly, Ed sought some advice from a former contestant. “I spoke to Jeremy Vine a few times before it was announced to get his view and he said it was the best thing he’s ever done and he loved it and he said you’ll never ever regret doing it, he had a fabulous time. Jeremy was the person who swung it for me to do it. Of course there are doubts because if you’re a total novice the idea that you would dance live on television, in front of millions of people you’d have to be a bit crackers really but Jeremy Vine said embrace the crackers in you and that’s what I’m doing.”

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For the series Ed is partnered with new pro dancer Katya Jones and he’s determined to impress. “I think the person I want to impress most is Len because it’s his last series and he is like the doyen of Strictly judges and I think he’s a great chair because he’s very measured, thoughtful and I think very fair. All the judges are very knowledgeable, but not all of them I can predict as well as Len. I tend to think Len has got his finger on the pulse of the nation when it comes to judging. I think if Len is less than favourable it will just inspire me to work harder because I want to do well for him.”

Watch Ed and Katya’s first steps below:

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 returns at 9pm on Friday and 6.30pm on Saturday.

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