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Nicky Strictly rehearses at home

STRICTLY star Nicky Byrne is insisting on having his midweek dance rehearsals in Dublin so he won't be away from his family.

Before signing up to this year's hit BBC series, the former Westlife singer (33) told bosses this was the only way he could participate in the show.

With twin sons Jay and Rocco (5) starting school, the doting dad wanted to stay at their Dublin home with wife Georgina -- and BBC bosses agreed.

He will now fly over to London every Thursday for the duration of the series -- and his family will see him at the weekend for the live shows before returning home together on Mondays.

Delighted dad Nicky was bursting with pride at seeing his sons attend their first day at school.

"They're happy and healthy, coming out of school buzzing," he told his week's RTE Guide. "They're talking to each other about what they have done all day. It's kind of surreal at the moment. When they walked down in their uniforms, I looked at them, and all I could see in my head was when they were born, they were six weeks early and they were in an incubator, and now they're walking down in their shirt and tie, saying 'Daddy, how do I look?'"

RTE viewers will next month see Nicky making his presenting debut with Football's Next Star, which sees ten hopefuls chase a coveted place in Celtic's prestigious Youth Academy.