29/10/2012 11:22 GMT | Updated 29/12/2012 05:12 GMT

Strictly Come Dancing: Victoria Pendleton Admits It's Hard To Pretend To Be In Love With Partner Brendan Cole

'Strictly Come Dancing' star Victoria Pendleton has admitted that she struggles to pretend she is in love with dance partner Brendan Cole during their steamy dances on the show.

Olympic cycling's golden girl finished joint second on the leaderboard after dancing a tango this weekend.

Victoria Pendleton's latest problem...

She told the Radio Times: "As lovely as Brendan is, he's not my fiance, so dancing the tango, which involves staying away from each other as opposed to pretending to be in love with each other, was really enjoyable for me.

"I'm not an actress, so pretending to be in love with someone for a week is actually quite hard."

Pendleton, who is due to tie the knot with fiance Scott Gardner next summer, added: "It's a good thing Scott is very secure in our relationship, so there are no issues there.

"He has been very supportive of me during 'Strictly', running me a bath when I get home from training with sore feet, and coming to the studio every week.

Victoria Pendleton feels lucky to have a supportive partner at home, as well as in Brendan Cole

"He also gets upset for me when a performance doesn't go as well as I was hoping it would. He was particularly concerned when I nearly strangled myself with chiffon in the rumba a couple of weeks ago."

Pendleton said that, apart from Gardner, her biggest 'Strictly' fan is her mother.

"My mum loves 'Strictly' and is so glad to see me doing something other than cycling. She used to find watching me on the track really stressful and didn't handle it very well," she told the magazine.

"During competitions, I felt bad putting her through it. She's really relieved I'm no longer competing. When I gave it all up she told me she was glad to have her daughter back and we were looking forward to spending some time together.

"But with 'Strictly' that isn't possible. If anything, we're spending less time together now than we did before the Olympics, so unfortunately that's going to have to wait."

She said that although her father did ballet until he was 14, the BBC1 show is "not his cup of tea".

"He has been watching it on TV...I think he's a bit more comfortable watching it from home," she said.

Pendleton said she could not stand to watch herself back on TV, adding: "Brendan made me watch our rumba to show me that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was - but I found it so painful...so Brendan watches our performances and gives me the feedback."

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