Belfast Telegraph

Cole role in Riley recruitment

Rachel Riley has revealed she landed her slot on Strictly Come Dancing as a result of show professional Brendan Cole being a guest in Countdown's dictionary corner.

Maths whizz Riley is among the stars announced this week who will take to the dancefloor on Saturday night to meet up with their partners on the BBC1 show.

She said that Brendan approached Strictly bosses on her behalf, and Countdown host Nick Hewer had also been keen for her to strut her stuff.

Oxford graduate Rachel, 27, admitted she has a lot to learn, particularly as she missed an early training session. "I've got such a long way to climb, that's my motto. It's just massively fun. I mean it's a crash course in so many different styles and I couldn't make the first day of training so I felt behind from the start."

Riley said she was starting from scratch: "I've never danced in my life; I've never had the grace. I've always been the clumsiest and already have a ridiculous amount of bruises."

Meanwhile, fellow participant Susanna Reid said she may have to practise her moves on the train because she spends so long commuting.

The BBC Breakfast presenter lives in London but has to travel by train to Manchester to present her morning show from Salford several times a week.

And the 42-year-old said she could put the journeys to good use sharpening up her footwork as she travels, explaining: "We might use the train for a bit of 'train-ing."

She said her professional partner had agreed to head up to Manchester to work on their routines. "So as soon as I finish on Breakfast then we'll go straight into a studio and do a bit of dancing. Obviously Bill Turnbull's an expert and so he'll be giving me some training tips as well. So we'll manage it."

Turnbull, her co-host, is a former contestant on Strictly and came sixth in 2005.

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