Strictly Come Dancing’s Vanessa Feltz will not be this year’s comedy contestant, her professional dance partner has insisted.

Broadcaster Vanessa, 51, has been paired with James Jordan in the new series of the BBC1 ballroom dancing show.

He said they would not follow in the footsteps of Ann Widdecombe and John Sergeant, whose clumsy Strictly dancefloor routines provided much entertainment on previous series.

Vanessa told the Radio Times: “I did a routine as Cher with my bottom hanging out for Let’s Dance for Comic Relief – they asked me because of that.”

She said of her own disadvantages compared with her competitors: “Age, weight, lack of talent… but no lack of desire. I hope the judges give me a chance – Craig (Revel Horwood) pitched in before I’d even done a step.”

James added: “I want Vanessa to be reassured she won’t look silly. We’re not going to do comedy. We want to do proper dancing.”

Fellow contestant Deborah Meaden said she dreaded the prospect of being lifted up by her dance partner Robin Windsor because she broke her pelvis in a riding accident a few years ago.

Meanwhile, Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor Dawson told the magazine he could be rehearsing his steps in a hospital corridor.

“The only problem is that my fiancee is pregnant with our second child, due on 26 September – the day before the first live show,” he said.

“If she’s early we’ll be rehearsing in the hospital corridor, and if she’s late – well, we’ll have to deal with that as we come to it.”