The TV tennis host replaced Sue Barker on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, interviewing winners in front of millions of viewers this year, just weeks after her husband Mel Coleman died.
But she will step out of her comfort zone on the BBC ballroom show.
Annabel, 57, said: “I’m not an extrovert, even though my job involves being an extrovert when I have to hold a microphone and interview players in front of sometimes 20,000 people.
“I’ve learnt how to cope with that situation, but to dance in front of lots of people is something completely different. I think I’m naturally quite a shy person.
“I’ve overcome the shyness for my job but it’s about being able to get rid of those inhibitions and let go, so I think that will be the challenge for my partner to bring that out of me. Let the music take control and to feel OK being silly and embarrassed. I want to get to the point where remembering the steps isn’t part of it any more, it’s about going with it.
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“That will bring me back to my childhood days doing ballet…which took a back seat when I started tennis.“I do regret that a little, that I didn’t keep up ballet, as that would have kept me supple!”
Ex-pro Annabel added: “When I was four I did some ballet classes. I loved it. Obviously the footwork in tennis is very different to dancing, but you are always having to think.
“Will it hold me back that there are footwork patterns in tennis that are ingrained in my head..? We will find out!”
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The biggest fear for fellow dancer Krishnan Guru-Murthy is that he is overweight.
The 53-year-old Channel 4 News host said: “I have never exercised really. I have got loads of things wrong.”
- Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One and iPlayer, 6.35pm tomorrow.
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