Balls left screaming as he has first spray tan ahead of tonight's Strictly show

Former shadow chancellor and Strictly Come Dancing star Ed Balls was left screaming and yelping by his first spray tan as he aims to impress the judges ahead of tonight's show.

Laura Whitmore and Ed Balls at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 at Elstree Studios. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire.
Laura Whitmore and Ed Balls at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016 at Elstree Studios. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire.

The ex-Labour MP for Morley and Outwood called the experience the weirdest thing he had done since getting a “naked Balinese massage” on his honeymoon.

Inspired by broadcaster Jeremy Vine who opted for the fake tan during his time on the competition in 2015, Mr Balls chose to take the extra measure after finishing bottom of the judges’ leaderboard last week with a new low score of 16.

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Sporting a black hairnet the former politician streamed the experience live on his Facebook page alongside his professional dance partner Katya Jones, with one viewer telling him he looked like a “bronzed Greek God.”

Whilst being sprayed he let out yelps of “oh my goodness” and said it was “really cold”, adding that he felt as if he was “on a Caribbean beach” before asking for a pina colada.

“Gosh I’m being patted all over. For the fake tan I’m not bothered but for the patting down I wouldn’t mind going for the full Jeremy,” he said, referring to Vine.

“I’m not sure about the tan but I quite enjoyed the experience,” Mr Balls said after being dried off.

He added his wife, Labour MP Yvette Cooper, was going to be “appalled”

“I always felt as if I needed a fake tan, but I always felt it would be a step too far but actually I’ve had one ... and I feel sticky.”

On tonight’s show the former politician will tackle the American Smooth to (Is This The Way To) Amarillo by Tony Christie, which was re-released in 2005 featuring Peter Kay to raise money for Comic Relief.

Mr Balls has already embraced some daring costumes, including the bright yellow suit and green mask from The Mask for movie week and a knight costume for his paso doble, despite promising early on he would only wear tuxedos.

Earlier on Friday he told Vine on BBC Radio 2 that he was enjoying the experience, adding: “Lots of people think politicians are boring and not human but when people see someone like me laughing at themselves, it makes them see we’re actually normal people who can make mistakes”.