Caroline Quentin has said she hopes that taking part in Strictly Come Dancing will encourage other older women to take up dance.
The Men Behaving Badly actress, 60, said she expects to find rehearsing for the show “very tiring” but has been increasing her physical activity to get ready.
She said: “I think it’s going to be quite taxing for me but I’ve started doing little bits of stretching in the morning, sun salutations and things to try and move myself but I’ve been spinning a couple of times.
“I’s going to be hard, there’s no question but I think it’s really good for you too. I’m really looking forward to my brain synapses working hard and my body working hard.”
Quentin added that she hopes her partner is not too strict, saying: “They will have to be patient, they will hopefully have a sense of humour.
“I don’t know anyone personally, so I don’t know but they will have a laugh with me.
“I hope they’ll be patient. I hope they’ll remember when you’re a little bit older, your brain doesn’t work quite as quickly and your body takes longer to get muscle memory and things so I’m hoping they’re kind and funny.”
She continued: “One of the reasons I thought about doing it now is because we do know that as we get older, we should be taxing ourselves – learning something new.
“And I think anything that challenges the cortex – the synapses – is so good for our mental health and mental wellbeing, it’s been a difficult and dark time for mental health issues for a lot of people.
“And I hope that it encourages people of 60 and over maybe to do a bit of dance – even if it’s just on your own to a bit of music in the sitting room, I just think it’s really good for our spirit and our wellbeing, physically, but also mentally as well.”
Quentin said she already has the backing of her former Men Behaving Badly co-star Martin Clunes, revealing: “I haven’t spoken to him personally, but I hear he thinks I’m in it to win it,” and has already been taking tips from Elizabeth Hurley.
She said: “Elizabeth said: ‘Darling, you know, what you mustn’t do is just y’know, keep your powder dry, don’t blow everything in one go, try really hard but don’t give too much away. She was great, and she loves it.”
This year’s series will return on October 17 for the launch show.