Jamie Laing – ‘If I get injured again, that would just be embarrassing’

Jamie Laing is getting a second shot at Strictly - and this time nothing’s holding him back!

Jamie Laing reckons it would “just be embarrasing” if he had to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing again due to injury.

Paired with professional dancer Oti Mabuse at the show’s launch last year, reality TV star Jamie was looking forward to waltzing, jiving and quickstepping his way to victory. But the Made in Chelsea favourite’s hopes were soon dashed when, during training for the first live show, he tore a ligament in his foot, forcing him to quit the competition immediately.

In a cruel twist of fate, Jamie’s replacement – Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher – then paired up with Oti and went on to win!

Luckily for Jamie, he’s now getting a second chance to make a first impression, as he’s one of the 12 celebrities who’ll be stepping out on the dance floor LIVE for the first time this weekend.

Jamie Laing, 31, is now fighting fit and raring to go and, as he tells us, he’s most definitely in it to win it…

How thrilled are you to be in Strictly Come Dancing 2020?

“I’m so thrilled to be back and super excited to get going. It makes my mum proud that I’m doing Strictly and I’ve never made her proud before, so that’s certainly one of the big reasons! When I came out of the show last year it definitely felt like I’d failed, so now it’s time to really go for it. The whole Strictly team are incredible. I had my Strictly family last year and now I’ve got a new Strictly family this year!”

Jamie Laing Strictly 2019

First time round: Jamie with host Tess Daly and former partner Oti…

Are you being at all cautious in training given your past injury?

“I played a lot of sport when I was younger and I’d often get injured playing rugby, football or tennis and go straight back to playing once I’d healed. So, no, I don’t intend to think about the injury at all. I’ve done a lot of physio, I’ve worked hard on it, so hopefully it will be fine. If I get injured again, that would just be embarrassing. Last time, people felt sorry for me – but this time they’ll just be like: ‘What a wimp!’”

More: Everything you need to know about Strictly host Tess Daly

So what’s your physical fitness like? Have you kept in shape in recent months?

“I tried to keep in shape for a bit. I ate a lot of cake during lockdown, which turns out is not that healthy. So I stopped eating cake and started going on really long walks, and now I’m really fit!”

Kelvin Fletcher Strictly Come Dancing

Jamie’s replacement Kelvin Fletcher lifted the glitterball trophy last year…

Your replacement last year, ex-Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, went on to win the show. Does that make you feel you’ve got something to prove?

“Oh, that guy had amazing snake hips! In a way, I feel that everyone should thank me because I gave them Kelvin Fletcher, when I had to quit the show. But he’s also really put the pressure on for me to do well this year. I think as long as I do my best, that’s really all that matters.”

Have you had any tips from your ‘Strictly family’ from last year?

“Chris Ramsey, who came fourth, told me: ‘Jamie, I thought this was gonna be hard but, trust me, you have no idea how much effort it is and you really have to train’. I think all of us this year think we’re just gonna do a bit of dancing but, as the competition goes on, I think it becomes quite tough and very tiring because you want to do well.”

There’s no elimination this week but next week sees the first public vote. How gutted would you be if you were first out of the competition?

“Oh, I’d be really gutted. To be asked to do Strictly once is amazing; to be asked back for a second year is even more special, so if I were to go out on the first vote-off that would be pretty upsetting. How far do I hope to get? Well, I guess the diplomatic answer is: ‘I don’t mind!’ But I’m pretty competitive, so I really want to win.”

Strictly group shot

Strictly Come Dancing is on Saturdays October 24 at 7.25pm on BBC1.

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