'Ageing disco hips' rule me out of Strictly return, Zoe Ball says

Zoe Ball said she could not take part in Strictly Come Dancing now because her “ageing disco hips” would be no match for the strong spate of contestants in recent years.

The TV star, who appeared in the BBC dancing programme in 2005 and now fronts companion show It Takes Two, also said she would only be able to dance with her original partner Ian Waite if she did make a return because only he is “strong enough” to lift her.

Asked if she would return for an “ultimate” version of Strictly with previous contestants, she told Press Association: “Yes please – then we could have two Strictly series a year.

“I know many ex-contestants have competed in Christmas specials and on the tour, and many still dance.

“It’s quite tough stepping back in, though, when you’ve been out of dance training for a while. Each series, I feel the contestants get better and better.”

The 46-year-old, who came third behind runner-up Colin Jackson and winner Darren Gough over a decade ago, would not fancy her chances at returning herself.

She said: “I’m not sure my ageing disco hips could take on the might of the last few years’ contestants – they blow my mind how good they are and how hard they work.”

“I could only dance with Ian, he’s my man and he’s the only one tall enough and strong enough to lift my giant frame,” she said.

Ball is excited to be appearing in a new Strictly four-day event in June – which will allow fans the chance to experience the glamour of Strictly in the company of its stars – because she has a “borderline dangerous obsession” with the show.

Named Strictly Come Dancing: The Spectacular, the day-out will include a 90-minute theatre show featuring judges Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell, hosts Tess Daly, Gethin Jones and Ball, and several professional dancers from the series.

Attendees will also have the chance to pose for photos with Strictly stars, take part in a tea dance with their own partner or one of the dance hosts, enjoy a Strictly make-up and hair tutorial from the show’s beauty team and get a close-up viewing of some of the most famous gowns in the programme’s history.

Former contestants, including Jake Wood and Anita Rani, will discuss their Strictly journeys in part of the exhibit hosted by Strictly veteran dancer Du Beke.

Ball said: “I think the fans will love getting closer to the pros and having a go at dancing themselves, and meeting some of the contestants.”

The TV presenter said the experience will be a “hoot” and added: “This is the first time we’ve brought people from lots of different series of the show together, including the very talented behind-the-scenes teams.

“I’m absolutely cock-a-hoop to be part of such a glorious Strictly event, bringing all the fans and the Strictly family closer together.”

:: Strictly Come Dancing: The Spectacular takes place between June 22 and 25 at ExCeL London. Tickets go on sale at 9am on March 1 and are available online at www.strictlyspectacular.com, or by calling 0844 858 6755.

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