The Masked Dancer's Eddie The Eagle Previously Turned Down Strictly Come Dancing

After being unmasked as Rubber Chicken, the Olympian revealed he came close to appearing on a very different dance show.

Former Olympian Eddie The Eagle has revealed he turned down Strictly Come Dancing before signing up for The Masked Dancer.

Eddie – whose real name is Michael Edwards – became the fourth celebrity to be axed from the ITV dance show earlier this week, after competing under the guise of Rubber Chicken.

Speaking to The Sun after his exit, Eddie admitted The Masked Dancer wasn’t actually the first show to approach him, having previously been invited to participate on Strictly.

Eddie The Eagle on The Masked Dancer
Eddie The Eagle on The Masked Dancer
Kieron McCarron/ITV

He told the tabloid: “They asked me last year, or the year before. I think it was the year before. But they asked me at the last minute and my diary was completely full.

“I had so many talks, conferences and dinners to do - I couldn’t cancel 70 functions to do Strictly.”

However, Eddie noted that The Masked Dancer came along just at the right time, after the pandemic put a stop to the public appearances he had planned for the year.

He said: “It was lockdown. So all my speaking work has come to an abrupt halt… I jumped at the chance to get out of the house and learn to dance.”

Eddie in character as Rubber Chicken
Eddie in character as Rubber Chicken
Kieron McCarron/ITV

So far, Diversity troupe member Jordan Banjo, pop star Louise Redknapp and international burlesque performer Dita Von Teese have all been unmasked during the inaugural series of The Masked Dancer UK.

Fans are still trying to work out the identities of the eight remaining contestants – but it looks like viewers have already cracked some of Knickerbocker Glory’s clues.

The Masked Dancer continues on Thursday night on ITV.

The Masked Dancer