Finding the perfect partner isn’t easy. My son Jamie is a pro doubles player and he spent ages looking for someone he was compatible with. Sometimes you have chemistry on the court but not off it, other times it’s vice versa, and if you have both it’s a bonus. Which is why I know I got lucky with Anton.
He is a paragon of patience, with a wicked wit – what more could a girl ask for? As the viewers at home have now realised, I’m a slow learner and a pretty awful dancer, but Anton has never let that faze him or get him down.
When the judges say foul things to me, Anton always defends me and tells me I’m tremendous – and even though I know full well I’m not, it makes me feel better that he says so.
If I get something wrong or forget my steps he’ll say, “I like your homemade routine, but could we stick to mine?”
Or if I say, “We really mucked that bit up, didn’t we?”, he’ll respond with, “Well, one of us did and it certainly wasn’t me!” So I laugh and we try again.
And away from the dancefloor we get on just as well, so I offered to help him with his tennis. He’s a real enthusiast and moves well round the court – sometimes a bit too well, he’s often pirouetting into shots, which doesn’t really work.
He also has a very dodgy forehand. He kept hitting the ball into the net because he was dropping his right elbow. He calls it his elbow of doom. But since we’ve been working on it together, it’s got a lot better.
He’s as challenged on the tennis court as I am on the dance floor. But the jury’s out on whether I’m a better dancer than he is a tennis player!
I’m just glad I can teach him something in return. Although I reckon that my debt to Anton is so huge, I’ll be playing tennis with him for the rest of my days!
Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC1 this Saturday (15th November) at 7.00pm