Strictly pair dismiss 'bullying'
Strictly Come Dancing's Ola Jordan and Steve Backshall have addressed claims that the professional dancer has been bullying her amateur partner.
The pair have remained quiet about reports suggesting Deadly 60 star Backshall had asked for a chaperone so that he did not have to be alone with Jordan, 32, who had apparently been treating him harshly over struggling to keep up with his steps.
But ahead of this weekend's episode which will come from Blackpool's Tower Ballroom, Jordan said: "It's not very nice and I work hard on the show and I've been on it a long time, but I'm a tough cookie.
"I've had a lovely reaction from the public, there's a lot of support out there for us. I want to win so we're working hard."
Backshall backed her up, saying: "We've been training really hard, I think we have pretty much the same work ethic and attack everything with the same sort of vigour and it's going great.
"She is fierce, but in a way that we both want to achieve."
The wildlife presenter has cause a stir with viewers and judges for his muscular physique and his bulging arms, but said although he was flattered by the interest, he will not be showing off too much in his next dance.
"I was pleasantly surprised, but tomorrow I'm going to be in a suit - so no arm exposure," he said.
Jordan's husband and former dancer on the BBC1 show, James Jordan, had tweeted his support for his wife and accused the BBC of trying to turn the public against her.
She said of his comments: "He's very vocal and can do whatever he wants."
The story which made the claims quoted a source close to the show as saying: "Steve is a very bouncy personality, up for any challenge, but Ola's harsh treatment has flattened him and made him lose confidence.
"She was very rude and impatient when he found it difficult to master the shapes for last Saturday's Charleston. Her choreography and tuition was so tough, Steve resorted to asking other people to show him what he had to do."
Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 tonight at 7pm.