'I'm scared to death!' Ed Balls admits to nerves as he's unveiled as the first contestant on Strictly Come Dancing
- Former shadow chancellor confirmed as first star in hit BBC show
- Admitted he is worried that the experience could turn into a 'nightmare'
- Wife Yvette Cooper said she was 'so envious' about his new role
- But bookies say he is a 33/1 long shot to win the contest
Ed Balls has admitted he is 'scared to death' after being confirmed as the first celebrity contestant on Strictly Come Dancing,
The former shadow chancellor - humiliatingly kicked out of parliament at last year's general election - said he was 'excited' at the prospect of appearing on the hit BBC show.
But he conceded that there was a very real possibility that the experience could turn into a 'nightmare'.
Ed Balls (pictured dancing with his wife Yvette Cooper at Labour party conference in 2011 in Liverpool) has said he is 'scared to death' about appearing on Strictly Come Dancing
Mr Balls' wife Yvette took to twitter to welcome confirmation that he will be a contestant
Confirmation of the political bruiser's participation was welcomed by wife Yvette Cooper - also a senior Labour figure - who said she was 'so envious'.
But bookies do not seem to fancy his chances - with William Hill offering 3/1 that he will be the first celebrity knocked out and making him a 33/1 longshot to win.
Mr Balls, 49, has been known to take to the dancefloor in the past, including notoriously performing 'Gangnam Style' at the Labour Party conference in 2014.
Allies claim he has 'moves' and have tipped him for success, although he is not thought to have any track record at ballroom dancing.
Mr Balls becomes the first male politician to appear in the full version of the popular show, following in the footsteps of former Tory MPs Edwina Currie and Anne Widdecombe - who both failed to impress the judges.
Former business secretary Vince Cable took part in the Christmas special in 2010.
The father-of-three is expected to be joined on the show by singer Will Young, actress Lesley Joseph, former royal butler Paul Burrell and TV presenter Louise Redknapp.
Mr Balls has endured a miserable time over the last 18-months.
Ed Balls has been tipped by allies as a dark horse, with his regular appearances on the dance floor at annual Labour party conference set to help him tango to success. Above, he dances with his wife Yvette Cooper, a Labour MP, at the Labour conference in Manchester in 2012
Ed Balls was famously spotted on the dancefloor at the Labour Party conference in 2014 doing the Gangnam Style dance along with Labour MP Keith Vaz (centre) and his wife and fellow MP Yvette Cooper (left)
The loss of his Morley seat in West Yorkshire was one of the biggest shocks of last year's General Election. He was beaten by former Miss UK finalist Andrea Jenkyns.
His wife Yvette Cooper ran for the Labour leadership last summer but failed to stop the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn and finished a disappointing third.
Three months later Mr Balls was appointed chairman of his beloved Norwich City, but the team struggled to maintain its top-flight status and were relegated to the Championship just five months later.
Mr Balls also failed in his bid to win a Christmas special of the Great British Bake Off last year.
The new series of Strictly will conveniently coincide with the publication of Mr Balls' memoirs in September - titled Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics.
Ed Balls is following up his appearance on the Christmas special of the Great British Bake Off. Above, he is pictured alongside fellow GBB guests Victoria Coren (left), Chris Kamara (middle) and Kimberley Walsh (second right)
Speaking on BBC Radio 2 today, Mr Balls said: 'I'd like to say I'm just really excited about learning to dance on TV, but the truth is I'm also scared to death.
'Making a speech in Parliament seems a piece of cake compared to this, but hopefully I can stick around for a couple of weeks, and have a lot of fun in the process.
'Strictly is a firm favourite in our living room, and it feels like a dream to be going on myself, especially for Len's last series. I'm just hoping it doesn't turn into a nightmare too quickly!'
When he was first linked to the BBC show last year, Mr Balls played down the prospect saying he was not 'quite equipped for Strictly'.
Head judge Len Goodman has previously announced the next series will be his last and ITV is launching a new big-budget rival set to launch in 2017.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3729095/I-m-scared-death-Ed-Balls-admits-nerves-s-unveiled-contestant-Strictly-Come-Dancing.html#ixzz4GjQCw9n4
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