Ainsley Harriott is set to swap the kitchen for the dance floor this week, as he begins his Strictly Come Dancing journey. And he's already feeling "pretty good" about it all.


In fact, he's so confident he'd already score his skills on the dance floor "7 out of 10", explaining that his belief in his ability to boogie comes from his days dancing at the disco: "I was one of those that didn’t so much go to the discos or the clubs to drink. I went with a towel around my neck. I was ready to sweat!"

He does concede that there is a difference between showing off your "cool moves" in the club and performing in front of Strictly's formidable judges - "this is a discipline" - but he's still got high hopes for his first dance this weekend.

"[After] the first group dance rehearsal last week our choreographer turned around and said, 'I’m very impressed with you all.' He said, 'considering this is the first day, you’re absolutely brilliant.'"

"I think we all felt that we were going to step on each others toes," added Harriott. But it seems that wasn't the case...

"It looked good and it came together. You know how untidy those things can look. But we were doing it and it was okay. Everything was coming together."

When it comes to the lives shows themselves, it seems any number of relatives have come out of the woodwork looking for tickets: "I have just discovered aunties that want to come to the show that I never knew existed!"

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But seeing as he's got such high hopes for his first foray on the dancefloor, we don't blame them...


Strictly Come Dancing launches on Saturday at 7:15pm on BBC1

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Robin Windsor, Alex Jones and Sir Bruce Forsyth will be at the Radio Times Festival this September.