Strictly Come Dancing’s Rev Richard Coles has joked that his weight will help him perform the perfect lifts when the competition steps up this weekend

Strictly Come Dancing’s Rev Richard Coles has joked that his weight will help him perform the perfect lifts when the competition steps up this weekend.

Richard said his “paunch” will act as a “shelf” to support partner Dianne Buswell when the pair present their second dance on Saturday; an American Smooth to Love Really Hurts Without You by Billy Ocean.

Saturday night’s episode of the BBC1 contest will see competition hot up as voting for the first elimination opens up this weekend – and some of the hopeful couples have already hinted at their plans for their first ambitious lifts.

Richard failed to impress the judges with his technique on last Saturday’s opening night, but he is hoping that his next dance could play to his alternative strength.

Speaking on BBC2 spin-off show It Takes Two, Dianne said of their rehearsals this week: “He has got some strength in him.”

But Coles responded: “I’ve got a paunch, it’s like a shelf,” and joked that he could use it to carry Dianne s weight.

Thursday night’s programme also caught up with Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara, as well as Joe McFadden and Katya Jones.

After watching week one leaderboard-toppers Aston and Janette’s preparation for a salsa to global summer hit Despacito, pro dancer and Strictly commentator Ian Waite said it was the first time he had been jealous of a celebrity.