06/10/2018 10:31 BST | Updated 06/10/2018 10:35 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing': Craig Revel Horwood Admits To 'Lying Through His Teeth' About Excitement For Previous Line-Ups

He says this year's bunch are "full of surprises".

Craig Revel Horwood has made a candid admission about previous ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ line-ups, admitting he had “lied through his teeth” about what he thought of them. 

This year’s batch of ballroom contestants has come under fire from some fans given the lack of big names among the group, but that is not seemingly something Craig agrees with.        

Praising their work so far during an appearance on spin-off show ‘It Takes Two’, Craig said he had actually been less enthused by previous line-ups. 

PA Wire/PA Images
Craig Reveal Horwood

He told Zoe Ball: “I have to say, it’s a fantastic group this year, really good. I’m very, very, genuinely excited.

“I know I’ve said that before, but I’ve lied through my teeth.

“But this year I really am [excited], and it’s full of surprises.”

During the interview, Craig also criticised Head Judge Shirley Ballas’ strict judging technique in the early stage of the competition.

Referring to Ashley Roberts’s Cha Cha Cha routine from last weekend, which he gave eight points and which Ballas gave seven, he said: “It was technically really good, I loved her and her energy.

“Obviously Shirley is going to put her mark on it, and be judging like a professional, but I think it’s still too early in the competition to be that harsh.

“I know that sounds odd coming from me, but if you’re comparing everybody she’s absolutely amazing and that’s why she deserved an eight.”

Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Craig also criticised Shirley's judging technique

He added: “She didn’t deserve a nine though, because there was still too much wrong with it.”

Asked if he thought it was fair to hold her to a higher standard given her previous dance experience in the Pussycat Dolls, Craig said: “No, I think you can hold people to a standard if you wish, but I don’t do that.”

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ continues tonight at 6.30pm on BBC One. 

Photo gallery Strictly Come Dancing's Former Pros: Where Are They Now? See Gallery