Former Strictly Come Dancing star Melvin Odoom has advised contestants to “eat, sleep and drink” dance in the lead-up to this year’s show.
The DJ and presenter warned incoming hopefuls not to underestimate the challenge after his relaxed approach saw him become the first to leave last year’s competition.
As the BBC show’s newest batch of celebrities get ready to put their dancing shoes on, Odoom has been busy working on Channel 4’s upcoming show Lego Masters, which will pit school children and engineering graduates against each other in a series of extreme Lego-building challenges.
Odoom, 37, told the Press Association: “My main advice is to really give as much time as you can to it … I really underestimated how important that was.
“I thought I could do my breakfast show at the same time, jump into the studio and learn a few moves, then perform to millions of people and it would be easy – but it wasn’t.
“You have to eat, sleep and drink dance … It was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life but it wasn’t easy.”
But while he suggested that recently announced performer Ruth Langsford could have the toughest job on her hands when she begins juggling rehearsals with her day job presenting ITV’s This Morning, he insisted the challenge was “doable”.
He continued: “If Ruth dedicates her time to it, maybe get Eamonn (husband and co-presenter Eamonn Holmes) to jump up and do some stuff in the house as well, who knows? You can certainly smash that competition.”
Odoom proved his point by dancing his way to victory in the Strictly Christmas special after a gruelling self-imposed training schedule both in the studio and at home.
“My little sister would come to my house after my rehearsals with Janette (professional dance partner Janette Manrara), move all the sofas into the kitchen and go through the routine with me.”
But while he was thrilled to be given “another chance” to compete in the dancing series, he is just as happy to be overseeing the competition tension in Lego Masters when it begins next week.
One of the four episodes will see teams of two create a “feast” including replicas of food and a chair that can bear the presenter’s weight.
He joked: “I am a trained professional at sitting in chairs having sat on a few in my time, but I did wear a hard hat just in case and no Melvins were injured during the making of this show.”
Lego Masters will begin on Channel 4 at 8pm on August 24, with contestants judged by a panel including comedians Bill Bailey, Dara O’Briain and TV presenter Richard Osman.