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Ugo Monye said Strictly Come Dancing has given him back the rush of adrenaline he used to get during his rugby career.
The former player took to the stage with his partner Oti Mabuse for the first time last week and performed a samba, which was scored 18 by the judges.
Looking back on his first performance in the BBC celebrity dancing show, Monye said the experience was comparable to his days as a professional sportsman.
Watch: Who Is Strictly's Ugo Monye?
When asked about how performing on Strictly compares to playing in a rugby game, he said: “I said it to Oti last week, I have missed that sense of adrenaline where you have got to go. It’s live, it’s all on the line.
“I got that adrenaline shot back and that was nice.”
Monye, 38, said he tried to relax before his routine by watching a football game.
“Then the moment we stepped out, it was awesome because you could hear all the different pairs shouting for you,” he added.
Monye said he has lost 15lbs since he started training for the show.
“I think people don’t appreciate that dancing is a tough athletic sport and part of it is because of how graceful, how effortless people like Oti make it look,” he said.
“But when you see people just sashaying across the floor, you are like, ‘That’s not hard’.
“But you are seeing the finished product.
“This week I think we have danced over 50km, which is just extraordinary.”
He added: “I hope people really get a sense of just how tough it is.
“They are not just athletic and flexible and graceful, but at the core of them they are incredibly fit human beings.”
Last week Monye dedicated his first dance on the show to his late father.
He attended his funeral on the day of the live show.
Watch: Who's judging this year's Strictly?