Norwich City chairman Ed Balls admits he is ‘scared to death’ as he joins Strictly Come Dancing
- Credit: Steve Adams
I's been rumoured for a while now – but on Monday morning it was confirmed that Norwich City chairman Ed Balls will be taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing.
The former shadow chancellor is the first celebrity to be confirmed for the 2016 line-up and admitted on Radio 2 this morning he was 'scared to death' about the prospect.
The City chairman, who has competed in three marathons and took part in Run Norwich on Sunday, said being on the dance show was part of his 'post-politics bucket list'.
He told the BBC: 'I came out of politics last year and you get a bit of space, a bit of freedom and I can do a few things I never thought I would be able to do.
'I'm involved with Norwich City, I have written a book, I've been on the Bake Off anD now I'm going to do Strictly. It's like my post-politics bucket list.'
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As for his dancing skills, the 49-year-old proved he can move when he was caught on camera doing a rendition of Gangnam Style at the 2014 Labour Party conference.
He joked that while he had been embarking on sensible endeavours such as learning the piano after losing his parliamentary seat in the last general election, Strictly was outside his comfort zone.
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'I've done sensible things. I learned the piano. I ran marathons. I always thought I wasn't going to get a motorbike to go across the Sahara,' he said. 'I have a feeling that going on Strictly is a bit more like getting on a motorbike to go across the Sahara than practising the piano.
'I've taken the view, if you're going to have a midlife crisis you should make sure you plan it well and enjoy it.'
Balls follows in the footsteps of fellow politicians Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie, who both previously competed for the Strictly trophy on the main show and Liberal Democrat Vince Cable showed of his moves on the Christmas Special.
His wife, MP Yvette Cooper, tweeted that she was 'so envious' of her husband after the news was announced.
Training for the show starts at the beginning of September and Balls said he will be practising his heel leads and samba walks for more than 12 hours a week.
'I'm hoping that I will at least get past the first week or two but it is a dream come true and to do Len's last series it is so exciting,' he said. 'My only hope is it stays a dream and doesn't become a nightmare which is of course possible.'
Other stars expected to be announced in the coming weeks include Laura Whitmore, Daisy Lowe, Will Young and Louise Redknapp.