Diane Abbott spills on turning down Strictly Come Dancing offer: ‘Didn’t want it exposed’

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Hackney’s MP Diane Abbott, 66, who is known for being the Shadow Home Secretary for Jeremy Corbyn for four years, expressed her thoughts over Jacqui Smith signing up to Strictly Come Dancing, after she turned down the offer in the past. The politician revealed why many may be “surprised” over her reasons for saying no.

I turned them down.

Diane Abbott

Jacqui, the former Labour MP for Redditch who was the first female Home Secretary, said she was “speechless with excitement” when Strictly’s bosses asked her to join the line-up.

In a new interview, Diane said she thinks Jacqui is “very brave” to star on the dancing programme this year.

After the politician was asked whether she has been approached by Strictly before now, she replied: “They have, and I turned them down.

“I couldn’t possibly do it. I think Jacqui’s very brave.”

While Ms Abbott spoke to Sophy Ridge On Sunday, she was then asked why she previously turned down the exciting offer.

“Because you’ll be surprised to know I’m not someone with natural rhythm and I didn’t want it exposed to millions of television viewers,” she explained.

This year, Jacqui is up against the likes of Bill Bailey, Ranvir Singh and boxing sensation Nicola Adams.

The former MP spoke about how she has been preparing ahead of joining the show on BBC Radio 2 earlier this week.

She told Steve Wright: “Who doesn’t want a fake tan that isn’t all streaky like when you put it on yourself?”

“When they asked me to do it I was speechless with excitement, which is pretty unusual for me.”

Jacqui continued: “I’ve been doing some extra running and yoga to make sure it’s not too much of a body shock.”

The soon to be dancing favourite will be participating on the programme four years after fellow Labour politician Ed Balls entertained the nation on the show.

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While showing off her moves, she shared: “I’m a little bit nervous but I’m going to try really hard.

“I did that for years and I’m sort of use to it.”

Revealing that she can’t wait to find out who her dancing partner will be, Jacqui went on to say: “Apart from being the first on the dancefloor at family weddings and discos I haven’t done an awful lot of dancing.

“Having said that, can you imagine a better dance teacher than the Strictly team?”

It has not yet been announced which professional dancers the stars will be partnered up with next month.

Actress Caroline Quentin, The Wanted’s Max George and American football star Jason Bell were confirmed as the first celebrity contestants on Tuesday.

It comes days after Nicola Adams said how it feels “amazing” to join the series as a part of Strictly’s first ever same-sex couple.

In a statement, she shared: “I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”

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