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Strictly was a bruising experience but I’ll miss it, says Rachel Riley

    Rachel Riley and professional partner Pasha Kovalev perform their Halloween dance before being voted off the show (Photo: BBC)
    Rachel Riley and professional partner Pasha Kovalev perform their Halloween dance before being voted off the show (Photo: BBC)

    Rachel Riley was this week trying to get over the disappointment of being voted out of Strictly Come Dancing.

    The bubbly TV presenter left the BBC show after losing a dance-off against top model Abbey Clancy at the weekend.

    “I wish I didn’t have to leave, but it’s out of my control,” she said. “I absolutely loved it and wish I could have stayed longer.”

    The 27-year-old Countdown co-presenter, who is backing Ms Clancy to win this year’s crown, said she wished she could have survived as a contestant in order to dance the Foxtrot dressed as Marilyn Monroe.

    But there are some things Ms Riley, will not miss — namely, the blisters and bruises on her legs and ribs sustained during the arduous practice sessions.

    “I had to train 30 hours a week. I’m not a natural dancer and a lot of my bruises came from me kicking myself. I found it really hard and just focused on improving week-on-week.”

    During the series, she clashed repeatedly with judge Craig Revel Horwood. “Some of his comments were a bit silly but every TV show needs a pantomime villain,” she said.

    “I know it’s more interesting to say bad things, but in reality we all got on really well. I’ve made some really good friends. Bruce Forsyth was a gentleman and Vanessa [Feltz, her fellow Jewish contestant] is lovely as well.”

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