Tonioli: Pace yourself for Strictly

Bruno Tonioli reckons Strictly Come Dancing is a marathon, not a sprint

Bruno Tonioli has revealed that the key to winning Strictly Come Dancing is to have a strategy like an Olympic contestant.

The Italian choreographer, one of the original judges since the show started in 2004, advised this year's group of celebrities should not overdo it in a short amount of time.

" Strictly is a long run. Because it's such a long run, you really have to pace yourself. It's all to do about improving and getting better - and beating the competition," he said.

The celebrities taking part in the 11th series of the BBC show include Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, designer Julien Macdonald, Hollyoaks actor Ashley Taylor Dawson and WAG Abbey Clancy.

"You have to think like a long distance runner and you have to make sure that the last few weeks is where you put that final stretch and push to beat the competition," the 57-year-old added.

Bruno, who also judges the US version of the show, Dancing With The Stars, will be taking some of his own tips when the Strictly live shows begin on September 27.

"I do Dancing With The Stars on Monday, and then I have Strictly on Saturday. It is pretty hectic, but I'm blessed to be working so I have to get on with it and take a deep breath," he admitted.

"From September to December, it's like an Olympic event. Once you start working, because it's a live show like theatre, it kind of carries you so hopefully I'll be able to deliver as well as I possibly can do."

Bruno praised Jack Osbourne, who is participating in Dancing With The Stars, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

"He's really, really good. He's light-footed, great sense of rhythm, wonderful personality. He's going to do well," he added.

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