Friday 9 December 2016

Leaving out Strictly lift would have been safe but boring, says Ed Balls

Published 01/11/2016 | 00:06

Ed Balls and Katya Jones perform during Saturday's live edition of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC/PA)
Ed Balls and Katya Jones perform during Saturday's live edition of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC/PA)

Ed Balls has revealed he tackled his much-maligned lift on Strictly Come Dancing because he believed it would be riskier to play it safe.

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The former shadow chancellor was the subject of plenty of jokes and some criticism from the judges when he nearly dropped his professional partner Katya Jones as he attempted the tricky lift during their American Smooth.

But Mr Balls told the Radio Times he thinks it was the right move, drawing parallels between his time as a politician and his time on the dancefloor.

He said: "Should we have played it safe? That was certainly the message from Bruno (Tonioli) and Craig (Revel Horwood). But this time I'm not sure they were right.

"When Gordon Brown decided at the last minute to call off his planned general election in the autumn of 2007, he did so because many of his advisers were counselling against taking a 'risk'.

"But I felt the opposite. My view by then was it was much more risky not to call an election and end up looking indecisive.

"So perhaps it would have been safer to have left out the lift, but I don't think playing it safe would work for us.

"The truly risky approach for Katya and me to take would be to be cautious and bland and boring."

Mr Balls said although opting for safe routines might be easier on his and Jones's blood pressure, it would also mean losing the element of fun and entertainment.

"For us, the risk definitely lies in playing it safe," he said. "That's why I believe we were right to try that lift."

Mr Balls previously appeared to poke fun at his trouble with the lift on Twitter.

He shared a video of himself and Jones in which they thanked fans for their support, and wrote: "Hope you enjoyed our lifts - the #GlitterBalls special did work every time until...!"

:: This week's Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.

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