Joe McFadden reveals Ed Balls gave him Strictly tips

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Holby City actor Joe McFadden has revealed his Strictly predecessor Ed Balls told him to approach the show with a “fearless” attitude.

The former shadow chancellor was partnered with McFadden’s professional dancer, Katya Jones, in last year’s show and fast became a fan favourite despite regularly finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard.

His approach won over fans and saw him and Jones reach week 10 of the competition and create a number of memorable performances – including an emphatic salsa to Gangnam Style.

Ed Balls and Katya Jones (Joe Giddens/PA)

McFadden said Balls had watched rehearsals earlier this series where he told the actor to try and use the crowds energy to his advantage.

“He (Balls) was always so committed and threw himself into it and he sort of just passed that along really,” McFadden said.

“I think the point he was trying to make was just be fearless.

“It’s very easy to go out and over-think things and imagine everyone is at home watching and you can sort of get caught up or tied up by doing that. So for me, it was just the advice of dancing for yourself and looking in your partners eyes.

“But it was great because I knew how well he had done and gone so far in the competition, and so I really listened to what he was saying.”

The couple finished fourth on Saturday night after collecting 34 points for their salsa to dance anthem Ride On Time.

McFadden also revealed he was considering leaving Holby City as he felt he had done everything he wanted in the role as Raffaello “Raf” di Lucca.

He said: “It’s not going to happen in the immediate future, but I’ve been there for four years now and I sort of feel like I’ve done pretty much everything that I can do and I’ve faced every challenge that I can in that role.”

He said Strictly could work as a springboard to finding more work in live theatre or a musical.

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