Strictly: Jay Blades admits he's struggling with training

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This year’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will see six brand new celebrities take to the dance floor to perform some joyful festive routines. The famous faces partaking in the BBC special includes comedian Mel Giedroyc, newsreader Moira Stewart, presenter Adrian Chiles, musician Anne-Marie, First Dates TV personality Fred Sirieix and finally, The Repair Shop’s fan-favourite Jay Blades. Originally from Hackney, the 51-year-old presenter started on the wholesome restoration show back in 2017 but is now trying his hand at dancing.

Shortly after rehearsals had began for the Strictly Christmas special, the TV star admitted he “felt sorry” for his partner after their dance training came to a sudden halt.

The celebrity furniture restorer has been paired up with 32-year-old professional Luba Mushtuk.

Speaking ahead of the Strictly Christmas special, the Russian dancer said: “Training has been fun, I’ve really enjoyed it.” 

“I feel sorry for Luba,” Jay admitted.

He exclaimed: “We danced in the evenings and then I went on holiday for two weeks!” 

Luba explained: “It’s the communication between the brain and the body.

“When he feels fresh he gets it but if he is tired then his body forgets.” 

The couple will perform a Jive to Hooky Street / Only Fools and Horses by John Sullivan / Ronnie Hazlehurst.

In jest, Jay added: “She now knows to feed me too. If you feed me then I’ll get back to normal.” 

Discussing her time with Jay, the award-winning dancer praised her new partner: “He is a great student, I absolutely adore him. He is such a gentleman.”

Commending Jay for his chivalry, she revealed: “There is a part of the choreography where he needs to push off of me, and he has such a hard time doing it as he says I am a lady! 

“But it has been wonderful.

After Rose Ayling-Ellis and partner Giovanni Pernice were crowned Strictly 2021 champions, fans won’t have long to wait until their next Strictly-fix.

The 75-minute BBC special will also feature a group dance as well as musical performances courtesy of Jamie Cullum, Gary Barlow and Sheridan Smith.

Mel Giedroyc and Neil Jones will perform a Couple’s Choice routine to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.

Newsreader Moira Stewart and Aljaz Skorjanec will perform a Salsa to Santa Claus Is Coming to Town by Justin Bieber.

Presenter and writer Adrian Chiles and Jowita Przystal will perform an American Smooth to White Christmas by Otis Redding.

Musical superstar Anne-Marie and Graziano Di Prima will perform a Cha Cha to Feliz Navidad by Gwen Stefani.

First Dates TV personality Fred Sirieix and Dianne Buswell will perform a Quickstep to Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special airs on Christmas Day on BBC One at 5:10pm.

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