Strictly Come Dancing: Celebs grafting hard

Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Brendan Cole prepare for Strictly Come Dancing. Picture: PA
Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Brendan Cole prepare for Strictly Come Dancing. Picture: PA
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IT APPEARS that all that glisters is not always gold – as one of the stars of this year’s Strictly show revealed there was an attempted sabotage going on.

Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor Dawson has let slip that James Jordan – the husband of his dancing partner Ola – keeps calling his wife during rehearsals asking how to cook beans on toast.

He jokingly dubbed Jordan, who is paired with larger-than-life television and radio presenter Vanessa Feltz, a “balloon head” when he Tweeted the sabotage bid. The actor wrote: “Could someone tell balloon head @The_JamesJordan to stop calling @The_OlaJordan asking how to cook beans on toast during our rehearsals! HA”

Meanwhile Feltz admitted she was scared she would win gold for the wrong reasons, being the first star to put on weight rather than lose it.

Feltz said: “I wonder if I will be the only person on Strictly who will put on weight? Everyone said I’ll lose weight – so far, if anything, I’m sure I have put weight on.”

Model Abbey Clancy told how she had roped in her lanky husband Peter Crouch to improve her posture.

She said her stance was her prime concern as she gets ready for her first live show in a fortnight alongside her professional partner, Aljaz Skorjanec.

Meanwhile, her dancefloor rival Rachel Riley from Channel 4’s Countdown has not impressed her partner Pasha Kovalev with her movements so far.

She said: “Pasha was using a chair earlier to go through the routine as it has more grace and elegance than me.”

However, she has found her mental dexterity as a numbers expert has helped with her preparations for the show, because she has become adept at using memory techniques to learn her routines.

And there have been reports that sports legend Tony Jacklin is spending more time on the greens than the dance floor, by teaching his dance partner Aliona Vilani to golf.

And BBC Breakfast host Susanna Reid revealed she had been battling fatigue with “micro-sleeps” during training.

The newsreader has to fit rehearsals into her busy days, which involve commuting between her London home and the studios in Salford where her morning show is filmed.

“I’m not really falling asleep, my eyelids just close for longer than they should,” she said.

A show source said: “The celebs are really going for it, the majority have been training five days a week already compared to last year’s four days. And some of them are putting in extra hours over the weekend to push things further.

“Ashley has trained until gone midnight with Ola this week, even though he is filming Hollyoaks each day.”

Actor Dawson is also on alert for the arrival of his second child, which is due in the next fortnight, close to the first live show of the latest series of BBC1’s Strictly.

“Everytime my phone rings we panic,” he said.