Joe Sugg has revealed that he and girlfriend Dianne Buswell – his former Strictly Come Dancing partner – have continued to dance together, and that it has helped to boost his confidence.
The YouTube star, who is paired with Buswell again for the Strictly Christmas special, also admitted he is struggling to find the time to rehearse his routine for the festive show because he is so busy.
Sugg, who was a Strictly finalist with Buswell in 2018, said: “We have continued dancing. Every Sunday we sit down and watch the results show and afterwards we get up and have a cheeky dance in the kitchen, and I reckon I’ve got better.
“I think it’s a confidence thing, I’m now not afraid to step on Dianne’s toes or falling over as much so the confidence is there a little bit more.”
Sugg, 28, and Buswell, 30, confirmed their romance following last year’s Strictly final in which they were runners-up.
He said he “missed” being on Strictly, and that “it wouldn’t have felt right” if he danced in the Christmas special with any other professional than Buswell.
Ahead of the show, which will see the couple perform a street commercial routine to Sleigh Ride, Sugg said he is somewhat concerned about his current fitness level.
“I would say that my fitness level is… it’s not far off but it’s a thing of… I look back to the series that we did and I think ‘How did I have the energy to get through 14 weeks in a row of learning these dances?’ because the dance that we’re doing now, to me, feels like circuit training,” he said.
“There’s so many places I have to run to and props we’ve got to use, it’s testing your physical strength but also your mental strength.”
Sugg – who recently finished his run in the West End production of Waitress – said he has “struggled” a bit with fitting in his training for the programme.
He added: “I’m quite busy this time of year and it’s been a pretty full-on year so I’ve packed in as much as I can this November and December.”
He said he is still doing the Strictly podcast and, with his work on the stage as well as posting his popular YouTube videos for his millions of subscribers, he and Buswell “haven’t really had too much time, we’ve managed to get about two days’ worth of training in”.
The couple will be competing against Gemma Atkinson, who will be performing with real-life partner Gorka Marquez, Mark Wright and Janette Manrara, Richard Arnold and Luba Mushtuk, Chizzy Akudolu and Graziano Di Prima, and Debbie McGee and Kevin Clifton.
The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will air on BBC One on Christmas Day.