Karim Zeroual has said he has been so consumed by nerves during Strictly Come Dancing that he is often “shaking like a leaf” before he takes to the dancefloor.
The CBBC presenter will compete in the final of the BBC show with his professional partner Amy Dowden, taking on Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher and EastEnders’ Emma Barton.
He will revisit his quickstep to Mr Pinstripe Suit as the judges’ pick and will also perform a showdance to A Million Dreams by Pink, as well as the couple’s choice dance.
Discussing the biggest challenges of taking part in the show, Zeroual said: “The nerves can be quite hard to deal with, it doesn’t really get easier.
“It’s the best feeling once you’re out there and when it’s done but when we walk up the stairs I’m shaking like a leaf.
“That doesn’t get easier, if anything it gets harder, so that is something that I’ve really struggled with, I’m probably one of the most nervous before I dance and I just try and hide it very well.”
Asked if the fact Zeroual and Dowden have been in the dance-off on more than one occasion has made him feel like they are on the back foot going into the final, he said: “No, not at all. I was never naive enough to not think that I couldn’t be in the dance-off and in a weird way I’ve got to experience everything on Strictly, which is a nice way to look at it.
“It’s never knocked me because we take each week as it comes and why not experience that?
“You’v got to experience the highs and the lows but for me I come back each week happy to dance and I’m really proud of myself of how deep I can dig to breathe and go back out there and just put on an amazing performance that I hope people enjoy.
“I was surprised the first time it happened, I thought how am I going to react? And then as soon as it happened I was pretty calm and collected and thought ‘Ok let’s go and perform’ because I love each dance so much.”
Strictly Come Dancing concludes on BBC One at 7.05pm.