Strictly star Seann Walsh admits he almost quit after first two rehearsals

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Strictly Come Dancing star Seann Walsh has revealed he almost quit the show after two days of rehearsals as he feared he would be unable to learn his routines.

The comedian, 32, has been paired with professional dancer Katya Jones, who won the last series with actor Joe McFadden.

Walsh said training for the TV dancing competition is no laughing matter and, after a gruelling second day of dancing with Jones, he considered throwing in the towel.

Seann Walsh and Strictly partner Katya Jones (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

Walsh said: “I think we’re at a point where I believe we can do a good dance now.

“That’s an improvement from the first day where I thought ‘there is absolutely no way I will ever be able to do this’.

“I actually don’t think I’ve told Katya but I actually considered, after the first day, just quitting.

“I think it was actually day two. There was lots of sweating. I got through five T-shirts because I was sweating so much, there’s video evidence.

“On the first day we started off small with the things we were doing, we left in a good place.

“And then the next day we ran out of time and we ended on a thing that I just couldn’t get my head around, and I thought ‘I can’t do this. I’ve got to leave’.

“I genuinely thought ‘I’m going to have to quit because otherwise this is going to be too embarrassing’. I changed my mind the next day – we smashed it.”

The stand-up, who took to the Strictly dancefloor for the first time on Saturday night to perform a tango to Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack, also revealed Jones puts him through his paces in rehearsals by poking him with a pen until he is able to perform his moves correctly.

Jones will become the first professional dancer to win the glitterball trophy in two consecutive years if she and Walsh are crowned champions of the 16th series.

The year before last, Jones was partnered with Ed Balls and they came in sixth place.

Katya Jones was partnered with Ed Balls in 2016 (Guy Levy/BBC)

Of her chances of retaining the title, Jones said: “The only reason I did well both years and won on my second year was that I just didn’t think about it.

“I just did the best I could with the person I was given, so I think that’s what I’m going to do again this year.

“I’m quite competitive so I’m just going to do my best and give Seann the best experience he can get. I think people are really going to like and fall in love with him.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One.