Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood has revealed that learning to become a classical conductor has taken a toll on his arms, despite his career as a dancer.

The acid-tongued judge is competing against actress Josie Lawrence and DJ Trevor Nelson in the BBC Two show Maestro At The Opera.

He told the Radio Times: “When I first came into this competition, I thought, ‘I’m a dancer. I know about timing. I can just sway my arms about and that will be enough’.

“But conducting is hard. It’s really, really hard. I’m in massages every second day.”

The star is halfway through a 10-week crash course in conducting at the Royal Opera House and the winner will have the chance to conduct an act of an opera at Covent Garden.

Craig said it was a ‘horror’ to have the tables turned and be judged.

“I’m not used to being judged. I’m usually the one who dishes it out. People might think of me as this nasty sort of character, but hopefully they’ll see a different side in this.

“When I’m judging, I put my little judge’s face on. But I don’t play judge at home. I don’t play judge at parties. I don’t play judge in bed,” he said.