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“I’m just hop­ing I’m cel­e­brat­ing still be­ing on the show. That would be the per­fect birth­day present from the judges – but we’ll see.” Joe, who last night per­formed a Doc­tor Zhivago themed Vi­en­nese waltz, is glad he wasn’t the first to be booted off. But he was gut­ted for fel­low Holby City favourite Chizzy Aku­dolu last week. He said: “Chizzy was first and that’s a hard po­si­tion to fill be­cause we all re­ally get on. “Some­one said the other day that you’d be happy to sit be­side any­one here at a din­ner party, and it’s so

Joe’s re­ceived tips from for­merer shadow chan­cel­lor Ed Balls, whoo be­came last year’s Strictly com­edy y turn while danc­ing with Katya.

The ac­tor said: “Ed came too re­hearsals dur­ing our f irst week, be­cause we thought it would be use­full to have some in­put.

“He was re­ally en­cour­ag­ing and gave me some tips about do­ing the show.

“It wasn’t so much danc­ing tips but more about per­for­mance. I mean, he’s such a good per­former and so com­mit­ted.

“He re­ally threw him­self into hiss per­for­mances last year.

“The thing I picked up from him wasas not to be half-hearted about it, to re­ally go for it.

“Ed said the au­di­ence are re­ally be­hind you, so play to them, let the cam­eras find you.

“It was re­ally good ad­vice and the sortt of thing you only re­alise when you’ve donee it. He gave me some use­ful tips.” Joe’s also keen to do his fam­ily proud. He said: “My fam­ily are talk­ing aboutut com­ing down. My sis­ter’s go­ing to comeme to Lon­don and I think my brother’s com­ingng tto Black­pool. I just need to get that far.

“My mum’s not around any more andd I ddon’t think dad will make it down. He’de’d mmaybe come to the tour if I’m do­ing that.t.

“He’s Ir­ish and from Done­gal. The im­pres­sion­res­sion I get is that he’s thrilled I’m do­ing it – but GGlaswe­gians and Ir­ish, you know what they’re llike, they’re not forth­right in their praise. “I think he’s qui­etly happy that I’m do­ing it.” Joe, who plays sur­geon Raf di Lucca in Holby, ssaid he’s given no thought to be­ing crowned tthis year’s win­ner.

He said: “I’m re­ally not think­ing that far ahead. CCer­tain dances you en­joy more than others, so iif you get the wrong dance on the wrong day tthen you’re go­ing home.

“I’m lit­er­ally tak­ing it week by week and ttry­ing to stay in this week­end.

“It’s hard to say who is the favourite. It’s a re­ally strong line-up, so it’s any­one’s guess at the minute.

“You can’t know what way the voting will go. I’ve tried in past years to pre­dict the out­come and al­ways got it wrong, so

we’ll see.” The Cor­rie ac­tress and her dancedanc part­ner con­firmed theirheirth re­la­tion­ship by post­ing a join­tjoi selfie on In­sta­gram in Jan­uary 2016 but split up in AugustA last year. The Count­down star left her hus­band for Pasha, her dance part­ner in the 2013 se­ries. They are still to­gether. The rugby player split from his wife in 2014 and started dat­ing his part­ner from the 2013 show, Kristina. They have a daugh­ter, Mia, who was born in June 2016. The 2010 cham­pi­ons wowed au­di­ences with their on-screen chem­istry, which bub­bled over into real life. They moved in to­gether in 2011 but split three years later. In 2007, Flavia broke off her 11-year re­la­tion­ship with dance part­ner Vincent Si­mone and waltzed off with the young Hus­tle ac­tor. Their re­la­tion­ship lasted three years. She then quick-stepped off with her 2010 part­ner, Cor­rie ac­tor Jimi Mistry. They mar­ried in 2013.

BUL­LET Rest of cap­tion in here thanks cap­tion in here thanks SHOW TIME With Katya on Strictly, top, and in Holby City RU­MOURS Mol­lie King THEY’RETHE SUM COU­PLE Pasha and Rachel SHOW PAIRS Ben and Kristina, top, and Kara with Artem

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