Ricky Whittle says he is still a fan of dancing, but reveals he has not been in touch with his former ballroom partner Natalie Lowe.

The Hollyoaks actor, currently at the centre of a dramatic exit storyline in the soap, showed he could trip the light fantastic when he was runner-up on the last series of Strictly Come Dancing.

And the handsome star reckons he will keep taking to the floor – even if only to impress the ladies.

“I’m going to continue the dancing because it really was an inspiration, it changed my life,” he said.

“It’s fantastic fitness and a great feeling to know if a song comes on I can grab someone and lead them through a dance, or pick a woman and foxtrot with her and do something quite beautiful.

“I really have a new-found respect for dancers. It’s a gift to have, I was honoured to be on that show.”

But he admits it has been a while since he spoke to ballroom professional Natalie – his partner on the show. The pair were romantically linked during their time training together, although they never confirmed they were an item.

Asked if he had kept in touch with Nat, he said: “She’s been very busy, so I’ve not. I kept in touch while she was on tour, but she shot off to Oz to be with her family so I’ve not seen her for a long time now.”

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