Video: Strictly stars dance down the red carpet at series launch

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POLITICIAN-TURNED-PRANCER Ed Balls has admitted wife Yvette Cooper thinks he will be a dud when it comes to the romantic dance of the rumba.

Former Labour minister Balls is one of 2016’s crop of famous faces taking part in BBC contest Strictly Come Dancing, but at the show’s launch event he revealed that MP Cooper didn’t think much of his moves.

Strictly 2016 contestants Melvin Odoom, Anastacia, Greg Rutherford, Laura Whitmore, Daisy Lowe, Ed Balls, Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac, Tameka Empson, Will Young, Ore Oduba, Claudia Fragapane, Judge Robert Rinder, Lesley Joseph and Naga Munchetty who are taking part in BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing 2016. Image: Jay Brooks/BBC/PA Wire

Strictly 2016 contestants Melvin Odoom, Anastacia, Greg Rutherford, Laura Whitmore, Daisy Lowe, Ed Balls, Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac, Tameka Empson, Will Young, Ore Oduba, Claudia Fragapane, Judge Robert Rinder, Lesley Joseph and Naga Munchetty who are taking part in BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing 2016. Image: Jay Brooks/BBC/PA Wire

Talking to Strictly: It Takes Two host Zoe Ball on the BBC’s Red Button promo content for the show, he reckoned his wife of nearly 20 years would be left cringing if he attempted the rumba, known for being the most romantic dance.

He said: “I would like to commit to the rumba, but Yvette says I’m not allowed to do it because it may be appalling.

“I’m really looking forward to doing the Charleston. All that flapping about.”

Balls, 49, also dropped a clanger while being interviewed alongside 70-year-old Birds Of A Feather star Lesley Joseph when he inadvertently branded her old and unable to dance.

Asked about making friends with Joseph, he said: “All these other ones are so young and dynamic and know how to dance. We’ve got to stick together.”

But Joseph took it on the chin by laughing: “He (Balls) could be my son. That’s how old we’re talking here.”

Show presenter Claudia Winkleman said that when she and co-host Tess Daly heard the list of celebrities taking part this year, Balls was the name that drew the biggest reaction from her.

She said: “Ed Balls made me scream. They went ‘...And finally... Ed Balls’. I screamed.”

Meanwhile, former popstar and wife of footballer Jamie Redknapp, Louise Redknapp, claimed to be worried about her dancing days being behind her.

She said: “It’s been so long since I’ve put any shapes down, I don’t know what’s going to go on until I get in there.”

Strictly Come Dancing begins on BBC One on Saturday at 6.50pm.