People think of me as a Strictly dancer now, says Norwich City chairman Ed Balls

Ed Balls with dance partner Katya Jones during a dress rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing. Guy Lev

Ed Balls with dance partner Katya Jones during a dress rehearsal for Strictly Come Dancing. Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Ed Balls has said he gets recognised as a dancer these days, rather than as a politician.

The former shadow chancellor is gathering quite a different fan base now that he is a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

Mr Balls noted that even news reports now refer to him as being a Strictly dancer.

He told Radio Times: 'Since I've been on Strictly, even popping to the shops near our house in London I'm having to get used to younger children pointing me out to their mums and saying, 'There's that dancing man'.

'One dad told me on Twitter that his eight-year-old son had asked, 'Are you as good at dancing as Ed Balls?'

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'Me? A dancer! But I guess for young viewers who don't remember debates on whether Britain should join the euro or how fast we should cut the deficit, a dancer is - sort of - what I am!'

Mr Balls, who lost his seat in the 2015 general election, has become a favourite with Strictly viewers despite not having the most impressive moves on the dance floor.

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He conceded that, as his dancing has not been great, he has 'had to go for entertainment too'.

The dancing hopeful, who is paired with professional partner Katya Jones on the BBC programme, added: 'Following in the footsteps of Jeremy Vine and Aled Jones, I've worked hard, put in the hours in training and learnt to throw myself fully into the character of each dance.

'But as for following the steps, I know I leave a lot to be desired and I'm only still in the competition because of everyone at home voting to keep Katya and me in.

'I'd like to think that's because we've been trying our hardest.'

Mr Balls revealed he does not expect to make it to the final but has a few more things to tick off his Strictly check list before he is eliminated.

'I know it won't last, but I still hope to dance a jive and an American Smooth, get to Blackpool... and lose a few more pounds!' he said.

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