Victoria Pendleton’s Strictly Diary: “Pretending to be in love with someone for a week is hard”

Given some of the dances, says Victoria, it's lucky her fiancé is secure in their relationship...

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As lovely as Brendan is, he’s not my fiancé, so dancing the tango, which involves staying away from each other as opposed to pretending to be in love with each other, was really enjoyable for me. I’m not an actress, so pretending to be in love with someone for a week is actually quite hard.

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It’s a good thing Scott is very secure in our relationship, so there are no issues there. He has been very supportive of me during Strictly, running me a bath when I get home from training with sore feet, and coming to the studio every week. He also gets upset for me when a performance doesn’t go as well as I was hoping it would. He was particularly concerned when I nearly strangled myself with chiffon in the rumba a couple of weeks ago.

I get two tickets for the floor and two tickets for the green room each Saturday night, so it has been very hard to decide who gets to come and see me every weekend. I’ve started a bit of a rota system so that none of my friends and family are disappointed.

Scott and my mum are my biggest Strictly fans. Everyone keeps asking them if they find it hard watching me dance each week, but both say they find it really easy in comparison to watching me go round a velodrome at 70 kilometers per hour!

My mum loves Strictly and is so glad to see me doing something other than cycling. She used to find watching me on the track really stressful and didn’t handle it very well. During competitions, I felt bad putting her through it. She’s really relieved I’m no longer competing. When I gave it all up she told me she was glad to have her daughter back and we were looking forward to spending some time together. But with Strictly that isn’t possible. If anything, we’re spending less time together now than we did before the Olympics, so unfortunately that’s going to have to wait.

The good thing is that my dad isn’t really interested in coming. It’s not his cup of tea. He did do ballet up to the age of 14, so he must have been quite a good dancer in his time, but he’s more into watching me cycling than coming to watch me attempt a cha cha cha.

He has been watching it on TV, which suits him better anyway because it can be a long process for the poor people in the studio. I think he’s a bit more comfortable watching it from home, although I don’t speak to him that much.

On the other hand, I can’t watch myself back on TV. Brendan made me watch our rumba to show me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was – but I found it so painful.

When I was cycling I had to watch my races to learn from my mistakes, but even though I knew the outcome, I found it excruciating. It was like riding the race all over again and I hated it. So Brendan watches our performances and gives me the feedback. Although he tells me that he finds it hard watching me too… Thanks Brendan!

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Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6:30pm on BBC1