Greg Rutherford says that he’s in far too happy a relationship to ever succumb to the “Strictly Curse”.
The Olympic long jumper, 29, told ITV show This Morning that he and his professional dance partner Natalie Lowe are like siblings.
“The thing with the Strictly curse, if somebody’s come into the show looking for that side of it then it’s going to happen,” he said.
“The difference is, from my point of view, and obviously from Natalie’s point of view, I come in from a very happy relationship (with partner Susie Verrill), with a young boy as well.”
The father-of-one said: “Natalie gets married soon. It’s very, very different. We’ve become very much like a brother and sister in that way so I’ve got another friend for life in Natalie.”
He joked about his “bromance” with fellow contestant Judge Rinder: “We hit it off from the first day that we spoke. Ever since we talk every day now. I probably talk to him more than I talk to anybody else.
“We both had no dance experience at all. We get to experience it together in that way….We do spend an awful lot of time together now.”
Greg admitted that “deep down” he wants to win, but “there’s far better dancers in this show than me.”
He added: “If you look at the likes of Danny (Mac), Louise (Redknapp) and Ore (Oduba), they’re exceptional dancers. I’m nowhere near as good as them.”
And Greg denied that he’d had a “meltdown” after comments in Rumba week by judge Craig Revel Horwood, but said he was upset that Natalie was upset.
“But it’s a show at the end of the day. For me, I’m a long jumper, I’m not a dancer,” he said.
Greg, who is dad to a two-year-old, has built a long-jump pit in the garden of his family home.
“It’s a bizarre thing to put in your garden… we can’t move it. It’s fully in the ground. Whenever we move, that will stay there, I think. It’s a fully certified long jump ramp.”