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Robert Webb says his open heart surgery motivated him to take part in Strictly

Robert Webb (BBC)
Robert Webb (BBC)

Comedian Robert Webb has said his health problems motivated him to take part in the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Last year he had open heart surgery after discovering in 2019 that he was suffering from a heart murmur caused by a mitral valve prolapse.

On Saturday he will be taking to the dance floor for the BBC celebrity dancing competition.

Asked why he decided to take part, Webb, 48, said: “It’s partly my age and it’s partly, nearly two years ago I had quite a big deal health thing.

“I had open heart surgery, so since then I think my attitude is basically, ‘This is no time to be cool and sitting at the edges watching other people doing the dancing’.

“If you have got something to offer, it might be time to offer it.”

He added: “I have spent the last few years doing a lot of writing with How To Be A Boy and Come Again and I have felt quite itchy and just a need to reconnect with the audience as a performer.

“It looks like a lot of fun. Very hard, but fun.”

Webb said it would “be lovely to win”.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Robert Webb (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

“If I got more than half way through, then I expect I will get very competitive and I expect I will start poisoning other people’s energy drinks and setting trap doors for Greg Wise,” he added.

Webb said his comedy partner David Mitchell was “absolutely delighted” to hear he is starring in the programme.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily obvious because we are in Peep Show, we are associated with a slightly cool late night Channel 4 show.

“But David and I have always been quite mainstream in our hearts.”

He added: “Strictly is many things, but cool isn’t the first word that springs to mind.

“It’s joyful and it’s engaged.”

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday.

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