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David James reveals his only Strictly concern: Cuban heels

David James leaving BBC Broadcasting House in London after appearing on the One Show where he and two other contestants were announced for the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing (PA)
David James leaving BBC Broadcasting House in London after appearing on the One Show where he and two other contestants were announced for the forthcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing (PA)

David James has said whoever he is partnered with on Strictly Come Dancing will have to be a firm instructor.

The former England goalkeeper, 49, was the first celebrity contestant confirmed for the BBC One series, with the full line-up still being announced.

He told PA: “The probability is I’m going to get a tall one (dancing partner). There is a physical requirement there.

“I’ve told them whoever I’m partnered with they have to be a firm instructor because I perform better if someone’s telling me what to do.

“I’m walking round the house doing little moves from what I’ve learned, but I don’t really want to learn too much because I’m sure they’re going to tell me to do something different. There’s a bit of excitement at the moment.”

The sports star and current football pundit said that having to train for Strictly was part of the appeal in signing up.

He said: “It’s interesting because the one thing that really did lure me towards it was the fact there’s so much training. As an ex-pro you need a reason to actually go in the gym or do fitness work.

“The other thing is there’s a lot of synergy with learning patterns and routines so I’m looking forward to it. I’m not saying I’m going to be great but I hope to get better and hopefully that will take me further in the competition, of course.”

James was speaking from the final of the #BetRegret Cup, part of the UK’s largest safer gambling campaign.

Teams from across the UK have been battling it out throughout the summer, which culminated at the national final at Powerleague Shoreditch at the weekend.

The former Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth goalkeeper is also looking forward to the glitzy costumes, but said Cuban heels are his only concern.

He said: “The costumes, I’m buzzing over it. As much colour as possible. I likened it to football as well when I was chatting to the guys.

“In football, you get dressed up to play. The idea of doing dancing in a suit is like having a kickaround with your mates, it’s a bit of fun but to be really serious you put your kit on and you go to work. I’m looking forward to it. I’m a little bit worried about Cuban heels.

“I’m 6ft 5 and a half in so I don’t think I’ll need Cuban heels. But it’s going to be fun.”

So far, 10 celebrities in total have been announced. They include: Soap stars Emma Barton and Catherine Tyldesley, YouTuber Saffron Barker, comedian Chris Ramsey and CBBC star Karim Zeroual.

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