Olympian Pendleton looking forward to 'Strictly' challenge

Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton revealed she has "no expectations" of being crowned winner of the dancefloor in 'Strictly Come Dancing' as she prepared to take her first steps on the dance floor.

Olympian Pendleton looking forward to 'Strictly' challenge

Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton revealed she has "no expectations" of being crowned winner of the dancefloor in 'Strictly Come Dancing' as she prepared to take her first steps on the dance floor.

The golden girl of British cycling, who won a gold and silver medals at the London 2012 Olympics and is the reigning world champion for the sprint, admitted last night that she has no dancing experience as she swapped the track for the dancefloor.

Shimmying on to the sequin-covered red carpet in a gold dress with her medals in hand for the show's launch at BBC TV Centre in west London, the 31-year-old MBE said: "I'm so excited. I'm really looking forward to it, even the training.

"There are no expectations so I'm just going to give it my best shot and see how far I go.

"I haven't had any dance experience so I'm not expecting to get too far ahead."

Pendleton was joined by her fellow Team GB sportsman, medal-winning gymnast Louis Smith. "After the Olympics I had a bit of down time but to come out for this, what a year," he said.

Despite his gymnastics background, he admitted dancing was out of his comfort zone.

"It's going to be a massive challenge, it's tough," he said.

"I've already been training for a couple of days and I ache in places I don't usually ache and I train six days a week for gymnastics."

Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh glittered in a gold number and Jerry Hall looked elegant in a red floor-length gown.

"I love the dancing! I hope my partner is going to be tall and handsome," said Hall.

The 56-year-old ex-wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger admitted to having nerves despite her modelling and acting background.

"Getting my feet to do what I'd like them to do will be quite the challenge, but learning the dancing is very hard work," she added.

Ballerina Darcey Bussell steps into Alesha Dixon's heels as the new judge, alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood.

"I can't wait I'm part of this show. So far, it's been good - the other judges have been very supportive and gentlemanly and are looking after me nicely," she said.

Bussell, who wore a beautiful purple lace gown, denied Revel Horwood's claims that she would be the toughest judge on the panel.

"I know what it's like so if I feel the contestants are not up to par, I am going to tell them. Some people have potential and I want them to reach that, and I'm going to be upset if they don't, so I have to tell them that."

She added: "I'm looking for an all-round performer that has entertainment value as well; it's not just about their dancing skills."

Fellow judge Goodman said about the new addition: "Classy Darcey is going to be fantastic. I hope she's going to be nice, but I've got a feeling she won't be all the time - she sits next to Craig so you can never tell."

Host Bruce Forsyth described the upcoming series as "the best ever".

"I think it's a marvellous line-up. Who knows what is going to happen?" he said.

As for new judge Bussell, he said: "It's wonderful. She's got to find her own way in it and the judges are there to help her. She will fit in in her own way.

"She's a beautiful dancer. The only thing wrong is that she's never done a part deux with me…"

'Strictly Come Dancing' begins on Saturday, September 15.

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