Ainsley Harriott Reveals He May Need Hip Surgery After Strictly Come Dancing

Ainsley Harriott has consulted doctors in a bid to fix his dodgy hip after competing on Strictly Come Dancing last year.

The celebrity chef was partnered with Natalie Lowe on the 13th series of the ITV Ballroom and Latin contest and has revealed to Yahoo Celeb that their intense training sessions and fancy footwork on the live shows, coupled with his active lifestyle which includes playing tennis and doing pilates, has resulted in him being medically assessed for osteoarthritis and hip “resurfacing” surgery.

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Ainsley admitted to us that his joint is “playing up” and the Ready Steady Cook star is set to find out this week whether he’ll be booked in for an operation to get a metal cap in the joint to relieve pain and restore full mobility.

We chatted to the household name at National Lottery Stars, which airs tonight at 10:45pm on BBC One, and speaking about keeping in shape since Strictly 12 months ago, he said: “A bit of tennis, a bit of pilates, I’ve being doing pilates for about 11 years now and it keeps your core strong.

“Then tennis once or twice a week, sometimes a little more than that. Although after Strictly, my hip is playing up, I’m probably going to need a hip resurfacing!”

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“They said it’s possibly osteoarthritis and I’m going to go back to see her next week and she’ll tell me if I need it. She said ‘keep on going, if you’re playing tennis once or twice a week keep it going,’ but the problem there is, if it wears down too much there’s nothing to cap.”

Osteoarthritis is the so-called “wear and tear arthritis” where the cartilage inside the hip joint has worn away, leading to the socket and ball joint rubbing against each other.

Despite the looming news, Ainsley – who turns 60 in February – isn’t worried and says it won’t have a huge impact on his lifestyle.

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He added: “It doesn’t worry me, I’ve been a chef (standing on my feet all day) and it isn’t constant pain but you know that it is there. I also have a dog, so I’m constantly walking.”

The TV star lost a stone and a half during his time on the series, which Jay McGuiness and Aliona Vilani went on to win, and he admitted he wasn’t accustomed to the diet of the professional dancers.

He said: I probably lost one and a half stone. (It’s) seven hours a day and you do pause to eat but you’re so exhausted, and you’re eating with dancers, it’s quite bird foodie - quinoa, couscous, bit of tomato”

“Perhaps you carb up for the performance day, but you’re not really in the mood for it. I’m back up to 15 ½ stone now.”

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Aside from his bothersome hip, the TV star - who split from his wife Clare Fellows in 2012 - is in full health and great spirits.

He said: “I sometimes wish I was ten years younger.”

“I have a check up every year, I just go, ‘Cholesterol is great, heart is good.’ So you can kiss me and you won’t catch nothing!”

Strictly Come Dancing has returned to screens on ITV for the 14th series and a string of stars - including the likes of Lesley Joseph, Judge Rinder, Ed Balls, Will Young, Laura Whitmore, Melvin Odoom and Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane - are battling it out to scoop the coveted Glitterball trophy.

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