Ed Balls: I was traumatised after messing up first Strictly dance

Ed Balls has said he was traumatised by the blunder he made during his first dance on Strictly Come Dancing.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 12:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:33 pm
Ed Balls dances with partner Katya Jones on Saturday. Pic: BBC
Ed Balls dances with partner Katya Jones on Saturday. Pic: BBC

The former shadow chancellor and his professional partner Katya Jones performed the waltz for their Strictly debut.

Balls recounted the moment “disaster struck” and he missed a step as they whirled around the dance floor on the BBC One show.

Writing in the Radio Times, he admitted: “My mind went blank, I missed a step and panicked.

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“We improvised to get back on track, got to our standing spin early and had to add an extra turn to let the music catch up. The rest of it went fine, but I was traumatised - how could I have messed up and let everyone down?”

His wife, MP Yvette Cooper, reassured him, saying no-one had noticed his error.

He continued: “Yes, I was bottom of the leaderboard, but it wasn’t a total disgrace - not a bad start for a middle-aged novice. And when I listened back to the judges’ comments, they were actually quite encouraging.”

This past weekend, Balls was praised for his second dance, a Charleston which earned him a standing ovation from the Strictly audience.

Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli told him it was a “comeback that Tony Blair would be proud of”.

* Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times