Jacqui Smith reveals Ed Balls told her to 'have a ball' on Strictly

Strictly’s Jacqui Smith reveals ex-contestant Ed Balls told her to ‘just have a ball’ on dancing show… in first interview since her elimination from the competition

Jacqui Smith has spoken about becoming the first celebrity to be eliminated from this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, in a joint interview with pro partner Anton du Beke.

Speaking to Zoe Ball on Monday night’s It Takes Two, Jacqui, 57, explained that she wanted to ‘just have a ball’, knowing she was likely to be the first out.

‘I really decided on Saturday to just have a ball! Ed told me to just go for it! I went out trying!’ she said, referring to fellow politician-turned-Strictly contestant Ed Balls.

Out first: Jacqui Smith has spoken about becoming the first celebrity to be eliminated from this year’s Strictly Come Dancing , in a joint interview with pro partner Anton du Beke

‘I didn’t want to go. But I thought, if I’m going to go, I’m going powing, and riding up on a swing, and with feathers and smiling I hope,’ Jacqui said. 

Of her experience overall, Jacqui said: ‘This has brought me a massive amount of joy into my life. I am going to hold onto that joy. What a privilege – I have been so lucky. More people have climbed Everest than done Strictly!’

Asked who she thinks could scoop the Strictly 2020 crown, she said: ‘Maisie [Smith] is just brilliant and works so hard.

‘HRVY is amazing and the sweetest person he is so lovely. They are clearly brilliant.

Sage advice: ‘I really decided on Saturday to just have a ball! Ed told me to just go for it! I went out trying!’ she said, referring to fellow politician-turned-Strictly contestant Ed Balls [pictured in 2016]

Of her experience overall, Jacqui said: ‘This has brought me a massive amount of joy into my life. I am going to hold onto that joy. What a privilege – I have been so lucky. More people have climbed Everest than done Strictly!’

‘Who knows, there are people who are really really improving!’

She summed up: ‘I have been unlucky as I have arrived on Strictly with the most brilliant set of dancers…’

During the pre-recorded results show, the politician faced Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing in this week’s dance-off after landing at the bottom of the leaderboard with 25 and 31 points out of 40, respectively.

Her exit comes as the new man in her life is revealed to be called Dr Graham Timmins – and is a politics lecturer who speaks fluent Russian.

The broadcaster branded her short stint on the series a ‘greatest adventure’ and expressed her gratitude towards her professional partner Anton, who she described as an ‘absolute joy to be with.’

She’s out! Jacqui was the first celebrity to be eliminated from this year’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday (pictured with professional partner Anton du Beke)

Competition: During the first results show, the politician, 57, faced Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing in this week’s dance-off (pictured with professional partner Karen Hauer)

The political commentator fell short when she and ballroom pro Anton, 54, performed their Samba to Help Yourself by Tom Jones again, while reality star Jamie, 31, and Karen Hauer, 38, danced the American Smooth to Frank Sinatra’s Night and Day.

Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas unanimously chose to send the Candy Kittens CEO through to next week’s show, as their scores from the whole competition were combined with the results of the viewers’ votes.   

When asked by host Tess Daly, 51, about her time on the show, Jacqui said: ‘I had the greatest adventure it’s possible to imagine. I’m just sorry I can’t continue it with this man who has been absolutely fantastic and gorgeous to be with. 

‘I don’t feel too much shame in losing to these guys because they are a fantastic bunch of dancers’: The broadcaster branded her short stint on the series an ‘greatest adventure’

Fierce: Reality star Jamie, 31, and choreographer Karen, 38, danced the American Smooth to Frank Sinatra’s Night and Day once again

Oh no: Jamie and Karen looked pensive as they were told they would face the dance off

Final say: Judges Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse unanimously chose to send the Candy Kittens CEO through to next week’s show

Candid: When asked by host Tess Daly, 51, about her time on the show, Jacqui said: ‘I’m just sorry I can’t continue it with this man’

‘But I don’t feel too much shame in losing to these guys because they are a fantastic bunch of dancers, they really are. 

‘So I’ll be watching you and supporting you. To Anton I would like to say you have been just an absolute joy to be with. I am so pleased and proud to have spent this time with you. 

‘And to everybody on the programme I don’t think people realise just how brilliant the team is that put this programme together and if ever we need Strictly, we need it now so thank you so much.’

She has kept his identity under wraps, but The Mail on Sunday can disclose that her new beau is Dr Graham Timmins, a highly acclaimed international politics lecturer at Birmingham University who speaks fluent Russian

This Morning star Anton also praised his celebrity partner as he added: ‘Well I’ve loved every second of being in the studio with you. 

‘We have laughed, you have a shocking sense of humour I can’t begin to tell you. You are just the best and I’ve loved it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.’

Keeping in theme of Halloween, the professional dancers displayed their fancy footwork with a spooky routine, while Sam Smith took to the stage to perform their latest single Diamonds. 

Since the collapse of her 33-year marriage, Jacqui has pirouetted from serious politician to dancefloor diva, thanks to Strictly. 

But the BBC show is not the only thing to have reinvigorated the former Labour Home Secretary, as she has revealed a new man in her life, ‘courting’ him – to use her term – via Zoom.

She has kept his identity under wraps, but The Mail on Sunday disclosed that her new beau is Dr Graham Timmins, a highly acclaimed international politics lecturer at Birmingham University who speaks fluent Russian.

Sad times: The duo shared a goodbye hug as they ended their dance union following a whirlwind appearance

History makers: Strictly’s first same-sex couple – Nicola Adams and Katya Jones – smiled as they sailed through to the next round

Good news: Clara Amfo and Aljaz Skorjanec made it through to week three


Go for it: Oti Mabuse and Bill Bailey and Dianne Buswell and Max George made it through

Stylish: Amy Dowden and JJ Chalmers made it to the next round 


Yay: Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe and Maisie Smith and Gorka Marquez sailed through

He first caught her eye in March, when she spotted him outside a yoga class in her home town of Malvern, Worcestershire, just days before the country went into lockdown. That meant much of their early relationship was conducted via video conferencing.

They discovered a shared hobby in running and are now both members of a club. They have been seen jogging close to their homes, which are less than two miles apart.

After lockdown rules were relaxed, Dr Timmins, a divorced father of two adult daughters, was spotted at the home that Ms Smith shares with her two sons, James and Michael. 

Ms Smith, a passionate Remainer, split from her husband Richard Timney (pictured)

The former MP has since moved to London to be in a Covid ‘bubble’ with her Strictly dance partner Anton du Beke.

But it is perhaps their shared love of politics which brought them together just two months after Ms Smith, a passionate Remainer, announced that she had split from her husband Richard Timney.

Dr Timmins, 58, has written numerous times about Brexit and his social-media profile pictures feature the EU flag.

A source close to Ms Smith revealed: ‘She is totally loved-up but keeps telling everyone it is early days. Given Graham’s specialist subject is politics, it is obvious they have a lot in common. They are both really happy. To find love at this age feels incredible for both of them.’

Last week she said of the couple’s first encounter: ‘We crossed on the stairs and I thought, ‘He’s nice.’ ‘

Ms Smith, who last night danced the samba to Tom Jones’s 1968 hit Help Yourself, left office in 2009 after the expenses scandal, when it was revealed that Mr Timney had claimed for two pornographic films. She lost her seat the following year.

The remaining eleven couples will take to the dancefloor on November 9 in a spectacular Movie Special.

Made it: Strictly favourite HRVY and Janette Manrara made it through

Going for goal: Jason Bell and Luba Mushtuk looked delighted as they sailed through

Dancing: Ranvir Singh and Giovanni Pernice were rewarded for their efforts

Spooky: In lieu of Halloween week, the pro dancers pulled off a spooktacular performance

Farewell: Jacqui looked sombre as she was seen departing the studios on Sunday 

First out: The star was deep in thought as she departed the competition

Source: Read Full Article