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.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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