It's not uncommon for contestants on Strictly Come Dancing to form special bonds with their professional partners, but Ed Balls might be taking the relationship a step too far after he compared his partner Katya Jones to none other than former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Trying to explain the (apparently complimentary) comparison, Ed said: "She was very supportive, very generous and very tough."
He went on to talk about his struggles during his training in last year's series, in which he was voted through to a somewhat miraculous week ten. He described his difficulty at nailing some of the moves, and his desire to give in – but explained Katya was having none of it.
"She gave me this lecture and said, 'Look, I've been doing this for 20 years. I'm a world champion and every day I come in and practice the same moves because I know I can be better. You've been doing it for six weeks, so get over yourself.'"
Apparently, that tough love reminded Ed of his former colleagues in his past life in government.
"If you have mutual respect in a relationship then you can be tough," he said. "That was why I got on with Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, because it was my job to be direct with them and they were always direct with me."
So, it's not as bad as it might sound... although we'll pass before we see Gordon Brown in anything as skimpy and sparkly as Katya wears on the show.
In the interview with The Sunday Times, Ed also spoke about the contrast between his sudden popularity with the British public and his defeat in the 2015 election.
Talking about his sole voted win at the Strictly Come Dancing Tour, he said: "There's that moment under the spotlight before they announce the name, and the Leeds Arena was chanting in unison, 'Ed! Ed! Ed! Ed! Ed!' Then they say, 'Ed and Katya', huge cheer, and we get lifted up on the shoulders by all the others.
"I'm standing there thinking, 'You're all chanting Ed now, but 22 months ago you didn't vote for me.'"
Ed, you're breaking our hearts here.
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