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Former Strictly star reflects on struggle: ‘They sell it differently

Strictly: Greg Rutherford opens up on intense training

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Gold medal-winning athlete Greg Rutherford took part in the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing alongside professional partner Natalie Lowe. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the 35-year-old admitted he’d been signed up to the BBC show “under false pretences” and joked the competition is missold to celebrities taking part.

Greg enjoyed his experience on the hit seasonal show, which reels in mass viewers every year.

However, the talented long jumper didn’t wasn’t impressed with his dancing skills while in the competition and suggested he had been deceived about how much of a commitment the show would be.

Reflecting on his time on the dancefloor, he remarked: “It was an incredible experience but a difficult experience.

“It is hard work, like… it really is hard, but when they sell it to you, you sit down and have your meeting, I remember I was in America training.

“And I sat on the phone to the producers and they said, ‘Look, you have to give a maximum of about 12 hours a week for the whole week of training.

“And it will be fine blah blah,’ and I thought 12 hours is fine… I did 12 hours a day and I was still c**p!”

When asked what advice he would give current contestants to help them prepare for the challenge, he joked: “I’d say they signed you up under false pretences!”

However, the track and field athlete doesn’t regret taking part in the popular show.

He and Natalie came in ninth place, and he formed a close friendship with her as well as one of his competitors.

“It [Strictly] was generally an incredible experience and some of the people that I met on there I have become friends for life with,” Greg said.

“In particular Rob Rinder who is a very, very close and important part of my life now.

“He’s a hugely important part of my life and that is an amazing thing as well.

“I don’t think our paths would have crossed unless we did that [Strictly].

“And he has been such a positive influence. So that for me is one of the biggest takeaways from it.

“Somebody like me and Rob, as close as we become. That is an amazing thing.”

Rob came in fifth place alongside his dance partner, Oksana Platero.

The sportsman formed a bromance with the TV criminal barrister, with the two enjoying a Lake District holiday together in 2020.

As far as appearances on other reality TV shows got though, Greg said after his Celebrity MasterChef win in 2019 he would probably be calling it a day.

When asked if he’d take part in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! he replied: “I mean, it’s so extreme, that one, isn’t it? And I previously said no, I won’t.

“I have kids, so obviously I don’t sleep that much anyway but no sleep and being hungry…

“I think there’s a chance that people would see the worst side of me, which is not me, but when I’m very hungry and very tired, it happens, doesn’t it?

“I always worry about how I’d be. So, I don’t know, probably not. I think I’ve exhausted most of those avenues now!

“And I am just happy doing other things, maybe not something like that.”

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC One.

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