Tuesday 23 January 2018

Yvette Cooper keen to learn Strictly dances, says Ed Balls

Ed Balls thinks he and dance partner Katya Jones are being kept in Strictly because voters recognise they are trying their best (BBC/PA Wire)
Ed Balls thinks he and dance partner Katya Jones are being kept in Strictly because voters recognise they are trying their best (BBC/PA Wire)

Ed Balls has revealed his wife Yvette Cooper has no worries about the "Strictly Curse" - and is more interested in learning his dance routines.

The former shadow chancellor, who is partnered with Russian professional Katya Jones, said Ms Cooper plans to learn all his dances when he finishes on the show.

Mr Balls, who scored the lowest marks of the series with his recent Paso Doble to Holding Out For A Hero, told the Press Association: "We have an understanding that when it is finished she will learn all the dances.

"So far she is unconvinced by the Paso Doble, what she wants to do is the Charleston so we will be practising all through December and Christmas so if we have any weddings coming up we can perform it."

The dancing hopeful said his wife, who is still an MP, is not worried about him practising with Jones round the clock.

Over the years, the ''Strictly Curse'' has seen marriages and relationships ruined when celebrities fall for their professional dance partners.

He said: "Not at all. Yvette's view of that is 'in your dreams'.

"I have a fabulous partner in Katya and her husband is also a dancer on the show and they are a wonderful couple dancing together."

Mr Balls admitted his low-scoring Paso, which scored just 16 points. was a bit of a disaster, saying: "It wasn't very good, I missed my steps but the public think we are trying. I am better than I was when we did the waltz. We have to show we are working hard."

The former politician will next be seen tackling the American Smooth to (Is This The Way To) Amarillo by Tony Christie, which was re-released in 2005 featuring Peter Kay to raise money for Comic Relief.

He admitted: " I have dad-danced to that song many times. My whole family have gesticulated like Peter Kay, it was one of the great pieces of Comic Relief history."

The new dance will also bring a tweak to his appearance, as he finally embraces the spray tan.

"I have been umm-ing and aah-ing and the time has come. It might be top half only but we have come this far," he said.

Mr Balls has already embraced some daring costumes, including the bright yellow suit and green mask from The Mask for movie week and a knight costume for his Paso, despite promising early on he would only wear tuxedos.

He said: "At the time I thought I would only wear suits and I thought it was a joke about the spray tan. It has been quite a transformation to get to this point."

He wore more conventional attire as he was joined by Jones as he was announced as the new patron of children's charity Whizz-Kidz.

Mr Balls has run the London Marathon for the charity three times and said: " I am honoured at being invited to become a patron for Whizz-Kidz.

"Having seen first-hand the huge difference Whizz-Kidz makes to young disabled people's lives, it is a privilege to officially become a part of the Whizz-Kidz family in this incredible way.

"There are still many thousands of disabled children and young people who are waiting for the right equipment to suit their needs, and the chance for their lives to begin. If we work together, we can ensure all disabled children have a childhood full of fun, friendship and opportunity."

Press Association

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