Ruth Langsford was paralysed with fear ahead of first Strictly dance, says Du Beke
This Morning star Ruth Langsford was left frozen by stage fright during her first week on Strictly Come Dancing, her professional partner Anton du Beke has said.
Ruth, wife of Belfast-born broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, who tackled a waltz for her first routine, was unable to move her legs when the music started, he explained.
Mr Du Beke told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "The first week dancing with Ruthie, we are doing the waltz and she's sat on the sofa ready to dance.
"I came round and the music starts and I put my hand out to take hold of her - and she doesn't move.
"She's supposed to move forward and she looks at me and says, 'I can't move my leg'.
"I remember Dave Arch (the band leader) looking over her shoulder going, 'I don't know what to do.
"I thought, 'Give her a shove', and you didn't see this, it was off camera, but Dave got off out of the pit and he shoved her.
"No I'm kidding, but you almost need that to keep going."
Du Beke said the nerves of dancing on television can defeat even those used to the pressures of live broadcasts.
He added: "You speak to anyone, especially if they've worked in live TV like Ruth or Charlotte (Hawkins), they go, 'I'm a bit nervous, but I'll be alright - I'll be fine'.
"Then you sit on set and Alan says, 'Dancing the tango', and they announce your name and suddenly your legs go, your mind's gone blank, the legs go completely numb."
Du Beke, who also announced the release of his debut album, From The Top, said he rarely suffered from nerves, with the exception of the night he duetted on Me And My Shadow with Sir Bruce Forsyth.
He added: "That is still the highlight of my performing life... to have the opportunity to do something like that with your hero.
"Brucie was completely my hero and it was just the greatest moment I've ever had on telly. It was just wonderful.
"I don't get really nervous on the show actually because I sort of know what I'm doing, but this was the only time I got nervous. I was standing in the wings doing that thing all the celebrities do, going, 'Hello? I can't remember my steps, I can't remember the words, I can't remember the opening word', and then the music starts and away you go."
Eamonn has been supporting Ruth in the Elstree studio audience as she competes in the hit TV contest.
He recently lashed out at the BBC, accusing the corporation of having "used and abused" the Strictly Come Dancing audience, who he said were treated like "cattle".