Ed Balls: Gordon Brown emailed to congratulate me on Strictly appearance

Gordon Brown sent Ed Balls an email “out of the blue” following his appearance on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, the former shadow chancellor has said.

Balls said the former prime minister had got in touch to say how much he was enjoying his appearance on the show.

“Gordon sent me an email yesterday saying: ‘Congratulations on Strictly, the whole nation is enjoying every minute of it,’” Balls told the Radio Times. “I had thought he was sitting there thinking: ‘Oh my God, he’s mad.’ So it was nice that the email actually said: ‘You go for it.’”

Balls, who lost his seat in Westminster in last year’s general election, also spoke about his last-minute decision to wear a sparkly outfit on the show.

“I spent the whole week saying: ‘I’m not having any sparkles, I don’t think it’s me,’ and then just before the launch dance they said: ‘You’re going to have to change your shirt,’ and it had sparkles all over it. My shirt made me look more like a beer barrel than a dancer,” said Balls.

“In retrospect, the hoops on it were a mistake. Someone on Twitter said the wardrobe department just went: ‘Sod it, darts player.’”

The interview was conducted by the BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, a former Strictly contestant. He described Balls as a “big, bruising figure in politics” and “Gordon Brown’s bouncer”.

Balls also discussed how he managed to gash his head while visiting the Guardian to appear on a podcast. “A door opened towards me at massive speed and hit me straight in the forehead,” he said.

Vine predicted a political comeback for Balls. “The Westminster bombast has gone,” he wrote. “If someone from the future said to me: ‘It’s 2025 and Ed Balls is prime minister,’ I would know what I already suspect – the dancefloor is about to turn his world around. In Ed’s new life, Strictly is the first step.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jane Martinson, for The Guardian on Tuesday 13th September 2016 00.01 Europe/London

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