Strictly’s Louise Redknapp: ‘I wasn’t expecting Jamie to be in the front row every Saturday!’

Strictly finalist Louise Redknapp can't believe she's had such a public show of support from her footballer husband Jamie...

Louise Redknapp has admitted she never expected her husband to be as supportive as he has been throughout her time on Strictly Come Dancing.

After weeks of jiving, waltzing and quick-stepping, Louise is has made it through to Saturday’s grand final where she’ll battle it out alongside former Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac and BBC sports reporter Ore Oduba to win the glitterball trophy.

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Louise (right) with her fellow Strictly finalists Danny Mac (left) and Ore Oduba

And she’s thrilled that her husband – ex-footballer turned Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp – has been following her progress every step of the way.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference ahead of the final, Louise – who is partnered on Strictly with pro dancer Kevin Clifton – said: “When I first started doing this show, I thought this is so not gonna be up Jamie’s street but now I can’t get rid of him! He comes to watch me every Saturday, he’s in the front row, he’s in the training room and I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting that it would be me, going off to work, doing my thing and he was very happy for me to do it – but I wasn’t expecting him to be there every Saturday in the front row.”

Louise added: “That’s made this even more special for me because it’s something really nice to see someone you love extremely proud of you and it takes me back to probably how we were 20 years ago when we first met and I was on stage. So all good things come out of Strictly!”

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Louise and Kevin danced a samba in last week’s semi-final

Louise wanted to take part in this year’s Strictly to ‘just get out and do something for me’.

She went on: “Anyone who’s got kids knows that your life becomes very wrapped up in them and you end up doing nothing that you love doing. So Strictly for me was always about, week by week, making the most of it, enjoying it, learning a new dance every week and just really getting back out there and remembering that I love performing.”

Louise shot to fame in the 1990’s as part of popular girlband Eternal and, following the band’s split, enjoyed solo chart success. Louise took time out from the music business to raise her sons Charley, now 12, and Beau, eight – and revealed she felt ‘overwhelmed’ being thrust back into the spotlight on Strictly.

Louise explained: “When you have been in the public eye and been on stage, performed as a singer and been in a pop band, it becomes very natural to go on stage and perform. You then go away and have a family and, for 10 years, you don’t go on stage, you’re at home and, for me, it was just getting back into it.

“I think that’s what I was kind of nervous of, going into Strictly. I knew I was gonna have to go back to scratch and learn to dance, do all these things and become all these characters. I don’t think I was low on confidence, I just think it was just the transformation of being at home to all of a sudden being on a show where 12 million people are watching every Saturday. That’s a big jump and, on that first day, I did feel overwhelmed by everything.”

Now she’s made it all the way through to the Strictly final, has Louise allowed herself to think she might actually win?

“I would be an absolute liar to sit here and say that, to take home the glitterball trophy, wouldn’t be amazing. But at the same time, Saturday night for me, I’ll be so proud to be there, I’m just gonna give it my best and enjoy every minute of it!”

Strictly Come Dancing: The Final can be seen on Saturday December 17 at 6.40 on BBC1.

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