Ed Balls is getting into the groove for Strictly Come Dancing

Ed BallsEd Balls
Ed Balls
Millions of viewers up and down the country are expected to tune in as Strictly Come Dancing gets underway on Saturday.

And this year former Outwood and Morley MP Ed Balls will be right at the heart of the nation’s much-loved TV programme.

The former-shadow chancellor was snapped boogying with fellow contestant TV presenter Laura Whitmore at the show’s red carpet launch on Wednesday.

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Writing on his Facebook page afterwards, the 49-year-old said: “What a day! We’ve just filmed the red carpet entrance for Saturday’s Strictly launch. I have never been more out of my ‘comfort zone’ - good grief!

“Tomorrow we find out our professional dance partners - mine is going to need a lot of patience.”

Mr Balls is among 15 celebrities who will strut their stuff on the dance floor. Their professional partners have not yet been officially announced.

The father-of-three, who is married to Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper, has been documenting his progress on social media as he finds his rhythm.

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He said on Facebook last week: “We’ve just finished day 2 of the group dance rehearsals plus some group tuition in the basic steps. Conclusion? Waltz and Charleston coming along but CHA CHA CHA a nightmare... time for a hot bath.”

The former politician, who admitted he was “scared to death” about learning to dance on TV, joked his competitors looked “rather younger and fitter”.

But writing on his blog when he was confirmed as a contestant last month he was optimistic he could “stick around for a couple of weeks and have a lot of fun in the process”.

The new series will kick off on BBC One at 6.50pm.