TV presenter Anita Rani has admitted to becoming a fake tan spray convert because of Strictly Come Dancing.
Alongside glamorous costumes and perfectly coiffed hair, the beauty procedure is part of the Strictly experience, but The One Show host resisted.
“I said no way will I ever have a spray tan because I’m blessed with naturally brown skin,” she said during a break from rehearsing with professional partner Gleb Savchenko.
“But Gleb was like, ‘You’ve got to’, so last week, I got my legs spray tanned because they were covered in bruises. Then I stood next to beautiful Karen Clifton in the make-up room, and I put my arm up next to hers and she was about five shades darker than me!
“She looked so gorgeous and I looked pasty so I got a bit of strategically placed spray tan and body shimmer just to give me a bit of confidence. But Gleb will always have more spray tan than me!” the TV star quipped.
Hitting the dance floor in front of millions of viewers every week has tested Rani’s confidence because of her inexperience.
“I’ve never danced before,” she stated. “I’ve never done ballet, never did tap, never had a tutu. On Monday mornings, Gleb’s just teaching me from scratch. I don’t know I managed the Charleston, I don’t know how I managed the cha cha. Again, I’m asking myself: will I be able to do it?”
In Strictly’s first week, the 37-year-old charmed with a cheeky cha cha cha and in week two, she performed a lively Charleston. This third week is a Movie-themed show and Rani’s routine is an American smooth.
“We’ve got Ghost and Unchained Melody: one of the most romantic, passionate and iconic scenes in cinema,” she enthused.
“I am happy because it’s a beautiful song, but I’m also absolutely terrified because it’s my first bit of ballroom and the routine is really difficult, but then I’ve come to know that about Gleb.”
Talking about the handsome new professional who already has a dedicated fan base, Rani said: “He’s really, really lovely and really, really humble. He’s strict, he’s Russian, and he’s pushing me. And he knows that.
“But when he cracks a smile it’s like, awwww! He’s quite cute. And then he’ll take his top off and I find myself catching a glimpse. I’m allowed to look for a second or two, right?” she joked.
But the affable star is determined to improve and get as much out of her time on Strictly as possible. “I want to please all the judges. I’m actually terrified of Len because I’m not a dancer, and Gleb says any dancer can see we’re not dancers because it takes a lifetime to master technical aspects so Len’s the one I want to please - I want him to say ‘technique good!’”
Dancing on Strictly is a joy for Rani, but she’s especially pleased at being able to showcase more of her personality.
“The public can, at times, have preconceived ideas about people they see on TV, but I’ve spent my life shattering preconceived ideas for one reason or another so it makes me feel great that after my first dance, judge Craig Revel Horwood said: ‘I’m shocked. Nobody was expecting that, darling!’ That’s brilliant,” she beamed. “I like to shock.”
Strictly Come Dancing airs on Saturday October 10 at 6.20pm on BBC One