Belfast Telegraph

Backshall battered by Strictly

Steve Backshall said Strictly Come Dancing has taken its toll upon his physique.

Speaking at the Children's Baftas, the naturalist, who left the show this week after losing the dance-off to Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole, said that the gruelling training regime had left him feeling exhausted.

"My body is slowly falling apart - bits are dropping off.

"You don't really get any days off, and after a while you really do start to get aches and pains and respect quite how hard it is for the dancers."

Asked if the show had improved his fitness he said: "No, quite the opposite. I'm in different shape, but not necessarily better shape."

He said that he was looking forward to getting back to his day job, but he hinted that might not leave behind the dancing entirely.

"My passion is wildlife and always has been since I was five years old. That's not going to change.

"I might still find a bit of time for dance - who knows?"

Former X-Factor contestant Jay James had warm words for fellow contestant Stevi Ritchie, saying that the singer, who was voted off this week, deserved his spot in the show.

"Stevi is a very good friend of mine from the show. I really hope that he wins in life. He's a beautiful man and he's a great performer.

"As performers you try to give people a moment where they forget about everything, all of their worries and just enjoy what that person's doing.

"I think that's why he's important for the show."

But he backed Fleur East to win, saying: "She's my girl. She's a superstar.

"I'd love to see her win it. I think it'd be amazing for The X Factor."

It was a good night for Disney, with Frozen winning the children's vote film award and Disney Animated winning the Children's Interactive award.

Cartoon Network won the children's channel of the year.

Writer and comedian Danny Wallace extolled the importance of children's television, saying: "It's incredibly important that there's quality in kids' programmes.

"These people are great because they don't shy away from bringing great ideas to smaller minds."

Singer Sharleen Spiteri said that she thought the Scottish Referendum had introduced young people to activism.

She said: "It really ignited a lot of interest and options for young people to see how much difference they actually could make to the way our country is run."

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