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'I'm ready to take on the young lads in 'Dancing With The Stars'...and prove I can do lifts too'


Des Cahill shows off his moves on the dancefloor with Karen Byrne in 'Dancing with the Stars' Picture: Kyran O'Brien

Des Cahill shows off his moves on the dancefloor with Karen Byrne in 'Dancing with the Stars' Picture: Kyran O'Brien

Des Cahill shows off his moves on the dancefloor with Karen Byrne in 'Dancing with the Stars' Picture: Kyran O'Brien

This is going to be a really big weekend for me. I'll be doing lifts for the first time so I will be trying to raise the bar.

Myself and my partner Karen Byrne are doing a dance style called American smooth, which is a mixture between ballroom dancing and freestyle. We're doing it to Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl'.

I'm definitely getting more adventurous, doing things like lifts. I feel like I'm taking on the young lads now. It's like 'I can lift girls too'.

I feel like I'm picking up the steps a lot quicker now and I understand the terminology and movement a lot better. I'm moving better now and even my friends who wouldn't normally give you praise have said the same thing. The only thing is my knee isn't great. That needs long-term treatment so I'm a bit nervous on the lifts.

We did them for the first two hours of rehearsals on Tuesday and then we stopped because it all swelled up, so it's definitely something that could be an issue.

I'm delighted I'm still in the show. I know people say that I'm still there because I'm entertaining and viewers can see me getting better. But if I just plodded around the dance-floor laughing, viewers wouldn't like it either. The popularity thing only lasts so long, but I'm putting in a huge effort and I think they appreciate that.

Maybe it's easier to see improvement in somebody like me that started off from nothing than if I was one of the fellas that was good starting off. Before this, I wouldn't have even got up to dance at a wedding.

I've also lost a lot of weight, I don't know how much exactly as I never weigh myself. Some of my suits are too big on me. I've had to have my trousers taken in three times already and the wardrobe department is wonderful. You wouldn't really be drinking as much either so that probably helps.

Last week was so emotional for me and I got a lovely reaction. People sent me so many messages, letters and cards, including one from a woman in a nursing home to say she was crying watching me dancing. I was emotional myself all week long but afterwards, I felt fantastic.

Sunday night after the show, myself, Dayl and Aidan had a lads night out in my local, Brady's in Shankill. Of course, someone pulled out a tin whistle and played the 'Marino Waltz' and myself and Dayl had a little dance. And yes, there's a video of it!

On Monday, Karen sent me a video of the kind of dance we're going to be doing tomorrow so I could do a bit of prep. Tuesday was a crazy day for me as I was on the early shift on 'Morning Ireland', which means a 4.40am start to get into RTÉ for 5.30am. The rest of the week involves more rehearsals and working. I can't believe how time-consuming the show has been, It's madness.

This morning there's rehearsals at 9am and afterwards I have to work on 'Sunday Sport', which can often end at 9pm.

It's starting to get a bit weird now that there's so few of us left. Tomorrow's going to be really big show for me in so many ways and I'd love to go through to the following week, as it's the jive and Karen thinks it's just made for me. She thinks it's the one that people will remember me for so fingers crossed.

I don't need to win it. For some of the other celebrities, it would help them in their careers greatly. I don't feel I'm desperate to win it but I don't want to go out either.

I owe Karen so much for the whole show, she's been so patient with me, she's one in a million. I would love to get the chance to dance with her another week.

Irish Independent