Last year's Strictly contestant Melvin Odoom, who was the first celebrity to be eliminated, has told TV chef Simon Rimmer that he could have stayed in longer if he'd put the practice in.

Melvin Odoom said if he had put more hours in during his time on Strictly Come Dancing, he would have made it further in the series.

Odoom, 37, and his professional dance partner Janette Manrara were axed from the ballroom in the first public vote of last year’s Strictly series.

Later in the year, they waltzed to victory when they won the Christmas special after their Charleston scored them a perfect 40 in the one-off festive episode.

Appearing on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Odoom told presenter Simon Rimmer – who is one of this year’s Strictly celebrities – to “put in the hours”.

Odoom, who hosts KISS FM’s breakfast show, said: “I was in a funny situation and I think everyone was busy on that show. Had I given it more hours, I could have been there a bit longer.”

TV chef Rimmer and his professional partner Karen Clifton will perform the paso doble to Blur’s Song 2 next weekend during the first live Strictly show.

The BBC One dancing series returns on Saturday September 23 for the first episode following its launch last weekend.

Traditionally the first live shows, where audiences see the celebrities dance as part of a couple for the first time, have been split between two episodes on a Friday and Saturday night.

This year, however, the two episodes have been combined into one for the Saturday night, which will see the likes of Mollie King and Holby City star Joe McFadden take on the jive.

Last year’s winner, Ore Oduba, became the first Strictly contestant in the 2016 series to earn a nearly perfect score from the judges when he and Joanne Clifton scored a 39 for their jive to Bruno Mars’s Runaway Baby.

The Saturdays singer Mollie and AJ Pritchard will perform the energetic dance to Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard.

Soap star Joe and Katya Jones will dance to the Michael Jackson version of Rockin’ Robin.