Jeremy Vine has had a blast on Strictly Come Dancing 2015 but he admits that it was probably the right time to exit the shiny floor.
Speaking after his elimination in Sunday’s show, he told RadioTimes.com: “In the end the field got so tight. The remaining dancers got so brilliant and I could see I was sliding off the bottom a bit so it was the right outcome I’m sure.
“I was beginning to get nervous that at some point I was going to knock out a good dancer and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about that to be perfectly honest.”
However he says he and his family have learned much from his time on the talent show.
Speaking from his home, he said: “My family are here now and we had a group family hug about the whole thing when I was eliminated. As far as they are concerned at the beginning I was the favourite to go out and and here we are after eight weeks and within a whisker of Blackpool.
“My family fell in love with [dance partner] Karen [Clifton] and she came round for breakfast and trained with me at my house and helped my daughter Anna with her trampolining skills. The lesson they learned was that if you work hard you will get a reward for it and I stayed in probably longer than I had any right to.”
He said fellow contestant Peter Andre appeared to be in tears when they said goodbye last night following his exit.
“He gave me a huge hug and he’s the most generous man. I got a lot of love from the celebs and we are all friends.”
Asked by RadioTimes.com if he regretted not answering Craig Revel Horwood back as he promised he might at the start of this year’s series, Vine laughed: “That’s a good question. You always wonder about answering back. Daniel O’Donnell had a good go back at Craig once and he was eliminated that night. The lesson is that talking back to judges doesn’t help you stay in the contest.
“I made a joke in the Radio Times about answering him back for his grammar but to be honest I enjoyed it. There I was standing at the famous judges’ table and hearing what they said. I enjoyed it almost like an audience member would enjoy it. I enjoyed it when Craig Revel Horwood said that my problems began when I started to dance. I loved it when he said I was like a stork that had been struck by lighting.
“I honestly don’t think that the comments hurt. It’s almost the other way round. The studio audience were always amazing to me. So they answered back on my behalf.
“The only down side of the whole thing is that somebody goes out every week. We all know the rules.”
Vine admitted working as a broadcaster for Radio 2 gave him a fan base that helped him on the show. But he added that his sedentary work life was a problem. “In parallel I had a disadvantage because for 50 years I have been moving my body in the wrong way so perhaps it cancels it out.”
Vine said he and dance partner Karen will be “friends for life” and said he considered it a privilege to “spend eight hours a day learning with the greatest Latin dancer in the world.”
“She always had the patience to spend the extra hour with me getting something right.”
He added that he would “love” to go on the Strictly live tour if he can get the time but says that his dancing days are probably over.
However he did keep a memento from the show: one dancing shoe that had a hole in it because of his constant practice at the “Clock” move from the musical Grease in a jive routine.
“I practiced it so much I wore a hole in the shoe and the costume department thought that was the funniest thing. And when I was leaving I saw that shoe and said ‘I am having that’.”
Will he be wearing it to dance in the future?
“That will go on the mantlepiece,” he laughed.