New Strictly star Rev Richard Coles consulted Ed Balls for advice

And when it comes to dance moves it looks like he already has a bit of the Balls magic about him...

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Newly unveiled Strictly Come Dancing contestant Rev Richard Coles says he’s been “waiting by the phone for 11 years” to get the call and that agreeing to do the show was a no-brainer – but he does admit that after signing on for this year’s series, he turned to some former Strictly stars for advice.

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“If I was to say that I’d had an off the record briefing with a senior former minister… alright, I phoned up Ed Balls,” he revealed, after the announcement on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show on Friday morning.

And what did last year’s break-out Strictly star have to say? “He gave me a very comprehensive briefing about it,” said Rev Coles, adding that Balls had been very “thoughtful” in his advice.

Could that advice have been comprehensive enough to involve specific dance moves? If this music video from Rev Coles’ pop star days as one half of 80s chart-toppers The Communards is anything to go by, he already has a bit of the Balls magic about him…

The new series of Strictly really can’t come soon enough…

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 this autumn