15/08/2017 05:00 BST

‘Strictly Come Dancing’: Len Goodman Gives Advice For This Year’s Less Capable Contestants And Talks Swapping Judging For Presenting

Yup, they really can learn from Ed Balls.

Former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ head judge Len Goodman has shared his advice for this year’s - how do we say this politely? - less capable contestants.

Len will return to Saturday night TV with ‘Partners In Rhyme’ this weekend, but before doing so, he has some useful points that the celebs taking part in the upcoming series of ‘Strictly’.

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Len Goodman 

Speaking to HuffPost UK and other reporters, he said: “The thing is with ‘Strictly’, if you’re not very good at dancing then you have to entertain.

“It’s no good trying to compete with Danny Mac and Ore [Oduba] who are younger and fit. Ed Balls pitched it right, it was just fun.

“The bizarre thing with ‘Strictly’ is you tend to remember Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant, being fired out of a canon. If you ask who won it the year Ann Widdecombe was on, none of us would know, but we remember the bizarre ones and we will all remember Ed Balls.

“As much as we want to see wonderful dances, we also want to be entertained and so do the viewers. It wouldn’t be the same show if everyone was terrific.

“If it was about that, do away with the celebrities and just have the pros dancing. It’s the bizarre ones that make it fun.”

Dave J Hogan via Getty Images
Never forget 

Len also revealed how he feels about flying solo as the host of ‘Partners In Rhyme’, after years of leading a panel of judges on ‘Strictly’.

Admitting that he was nervous ahead of filming, Len said: “We’re all frightened of doing anything we’ve never done before, because you doubt yourself.

I thought, ‘What if I do it and I’m an absolute drip? And I can’t do it and they’ve paid all this money for the big production, and I’m useless at it and letting everyone down’.

“So there is that sort of nervous thing about it, but I overcome my nerves with some fighting spirit.

“When I first did ‘Strictly’ and I was a bit nervous - I’d never done anything on television - I said to the producer, ‘I’m a bit anxious’, and she said be yourself and be honest. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”

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Len with the 'Strictly' gang 

It hasn’t all been smooth-sailing though and Len admitted that there was one aspect of filming he struggled with.

“I couldn’t read the autocue to start,” he laughed. “I’m not used to that. I don’t think I ever got through one [take] without cocking it up in some form or another.

“All the chatting I’m fine with, it [the show] starts and you come down the little stairway and then you go and have a chat with the celebrities - fine. Then you go and chat with the two contestants, fine.

“It’s the formal bits where I’ve got to read. It’s not that I can’t read but I stumble over it a bit.”

‘Partners In Rhyme’ sees contestants paired up with two celebrities, with each trio hoping to make it through various rhyme-based rounds.

The winning contestant then takes place in the final round, ‘Rhyme Against Time’, in the hope of winning a holiday.

‘Partners In Rhyme’ airs on Saturday 19 August at 6.45pm.

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