Louise Redknapp wanted fake ‘illness or to break something’ to quit Strictly Come Dancing

Louise Redknapp says she 'hated suspenders' in Cabaret

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The former Eternal singer has given insight into the damning effect Strictly had on her marriage in her new book. She admitted regret over appearing in the BBC dance contest because it made her “feel invincible” and ended her relationship of 19 years with Jamie Redknapp. Louise claimed “nothing could be worth… the heartache” she put her family through by going on the show and she wouldn’t do it again.

Shortly after Louise’s appearance on Strictly, she divorced Jamie, who has since gone on to date Swedish model Frida Andersson-Lourie.

He was pictured cuddling and kissing his girlfriend in recent photographs that emerged of them walking through a street in West London. 

Meanwhile, Louise has struggled to find love again and confessed that she had been ‘ghosted’ after chatting to a potential suitor on a dating app. 

Earlier this month, she released her autobiography Louise Redknapp: You’ve Got This And Other Things I Wish I Had Known.

In a number of chapters, she spoke about her return to the media spotlight since appearing on Strictly. 

Louise claimed she had been asked to go on the celebrity dance show four years earlier in 2012 but didn’t feel it was the right time. 

The mother-of-two put her career on hold to raise their two sons Charles and Beau, now 16 and 12, after fearing her music would not be well-received. 

After penning a solo album while pregnant with her eldest in 2004, Louise refused to release it.

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Louise explained: “I kept thinking, ‘Give me six more months, give me a year and then I will be ready.’”

By the time she was near to “being ready”, her record contract had expired and no one was pushing her for an album.

The possibility of becoming famous again led Louise to appear on Strictly in 2016 but early into the competition, she considered bowing out.

In week one of the show, Louise recalled being “frozen” with terror after she couldn’t remember any of her dance moves. 

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She told dance partner Kevin, who “sang and mimed the actions” in an attempt to rejig her memory and soothe the “panicking” star.

After he showed her the first few steps, she asked: “OK, and what comes after that.”

Louise admitted her “mind was completely blank” and she didn’t think she could “remember any of it”.

Kevin, who was concerned by her confession, stated: “We’re just about to do it on national TV!”

Instead of going into his starting position, the dancer took her “through the first bit of the routine” – an “incredibly energetic and demanding” jive. 

Louise admitted she was so shaken-up that she had “no idea who I was” when announcers called out her name.

Thankfully, when the music started, the singer – who was dressed in a red sailor’s outfit with white jazz shoes  – remembered the routine.

Louise was “genuinely terrified” moments before her performance and after the show called her manager from the dressing room. 

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The singer pleaded: “I am not doing that again! Can we say I’m ill or I’ve broken something?”

Louise’s manager told her not to “be so bloody stupid” and reassured her that she was “great” and seemed to “light up on that stage”.

She urged her to “give it one more week” but the singer was uncertain and questioned whether there was a way she could deliberately take herself out of the competition. 

The star recalled telling her manager: “‘What would I need to break – a toe? A finger?’ It sounded like I was joking but I was being deadly serious.”

Fortunately, Louise didn’t quit as after 13 gruelling weeks, she and Kevin were crowned Strictly Come Dancing champions.

Before they received the coveted Glitterball Trophy, she said: “I was always so worried about what people think of me… you realise if you don’t [go for it] you’ll go home.

“I came into this competition just loving it and every week has been a bonus, I’ve never looked at it as a competition. 

“To win it of course would be the proudest moment for me.”

Louise Redknapp’s new book You’ve Got This and Other Things I Wish I Had Known was published by Piaktus and is available here. 

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