Ed Balls lifted Susanna Reid on live TV and didn't even wobble

Strictly Come Dancing star Ed Balls performed a perfect lift on TV host Susanna Reid as he admitted he has expected to be in the dance-off every week.

The former shadow chancellor and Strictly fan favourite, who has delighted and alarmed audiences with his moves on the dance floor, said it has been a big surprise when he is voted through every week.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I’ve expected to be in the dance-off every week because I’m the novice and I’m easily not the best, the worst dancer really.

“What I try to do every week is do the steps and make it fun and try to get that balance right. We have taken risks.

“We always thought we would be in the dance-off, and so far we haven’t, and it’s been a big surprise every week.”

Ed also revealed what went wrong in the much-maligned lift he performed with his professional partner Katya Jones, which left the judges scared he would drop her.

He said: “In the week we had done this lift for the first time because Katya had seen a picture, and we worked out we could get up there and I could turn around so we did this full turn.

“Nobody had ever seen it before and it had never been done. Every time it had worked in rehearsal, we thought it was really solid and it is, and that hold is where I am – and then for whatever reason, her foot went and she basically pivoted and everyone was worried about me dropping her. But actually she was totally secure, but just spun around.

“I still did the turn to go into the next move, it looked like a catastrophe and it was – but all we were thinking was can we come out of it?”

Ed also said he hopes he does not bear too much similarity to the contestants who became fan favourites because of their ineptitude, but rather hopes to be associated with celebrities who gave it their best shot.

He said: “I set out not to be John Sergeant or Ann Widdecombe, I wanted to be Aled Jones or Jeremy Vine, novices who tried really hard.

“We have not given up on the dancing at all and in the end what people are judging is are you getting better? Are you trying? Are you improving and do they enjoy it? In the end the public will decide who stays in.

“I have not expected the public to keep us in, but so far they have.

“But I do think it changes, as you get closer to the end I think the quality of the dance starts to get bigger in people’s minds, but I could get to Blackpool and that is what we are going for.”

The former politician, who will tackle a quickstep on Saturday’s show, admitted he does not know what he will do once the show is over.

He told Susanna and co-host Ranvir Singh: “For the first time in my life I’m not really worrying about that, after so long in politics where you have to keep planning.”

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One on Saturday at 6.55pm.

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