'Giulia says there's no chance of an affair', jokes DWTS star Fred Cooke
Funnyman Fred Cooke has laughed off the Strictly curse - and says his dance partner has told him he has "nothing to worry about".
The Kells comic goes into this weekend's Dancing With The Stars as the favourite to be eliminated.
However, 38-year-old Fred said he pays no attention to the odds because they are always fluctuating.
Asked about the Strictly Come Dancing curse - which has been blamed for several celebrity break-ups in the UK - Fred said he has been told by dance partner Giulia Dotta (27) that he has nothing to worry about.
"It's funny, because my girlfriend is comic Julie Jay, so they kind of share the same name, so it would be convenient if I were having an affair," he said.
"But I'm not. I joked about it with Giulia like, do you think it's ever going to happen?
"And she's like, 'Fred, you've got absolutely nothing to worry about'."
However, Fred was quick to praise the Italian dancer for her work ethic and patience.
Giulia was dance partner to comedian Des Bishop in the first season of the RTE hit show.
However, Giulia wouldn't say who she thought was the funnier of the comedians. "I think I knew that one myself," said Fred. "We didn't even need to talk about that. We really didn't.
"The first time I met Giulia was with Des. And Des was saying, 'Fred, you really should do it. You should do Dancing With The Stars'."
Fred said everything about his experience on the show has been positive, particularly the weight loss and diet pattern, both of which he said he'll keep with him long after the show finishes up.
"I haven't been this focused since the Leaving Cert, and that was a long time ago.
"I haven't been this physically active since PE in the Leaving Cert.
"I'd say I've lost a stone, a stone-and-a-half, maybe. What I've gained in friends, I've lost in weight.
"I didn't go in with the intention of losing weight.
"I kind of went in because I had a sense of rhythm and I love dancing, but I'd no technique, no structure, that's why I went in. It was an indirect workout without thinking about it.
"When I finished secondary school I went to college, so I slept for five years.
"And then I did stand-up as well, so the sleeping pattern is completely different, and you're your own boss, you work at night.
"The sleeping pattern is better and the diet's better so it's all win-win," he added.
This weekend's Dancing With The Stars sees only six contestants remaining.
Actor Johnny Ward and country singer Cliona Hagan are favourites to take home the crown, both at odds of 6/4. Mairead Ronan is third favourite at 3/1 with Dubs star Denis Bastick further out at 20/1.
Clelia Murphy is further out at 22/1 and Cooke is a 40/1 outsider.