Strictly’s Graeme Swann says ‘tough’ Oti Mabuse was ‘scarier than cricket coach’

Graeme Swann has revealed that being on Strictly Come Dancing was "very tough" mentally, as he opened up about Oti Mabuse's coaching.

The 41-year-old former cricketer took part in the popular dancing competition back in 2018, and he's spoken about his time on the show.

He said: "I still keep a lookout on Strictly for Oti because she's brilliant. She's bonkers of course, but in a brilliant way.

"She's a laugh a minute, a cry a minute and a shout a minute but she's the best dancer on there by a country mile. She was so naturally talented and so passionate about it. She was fun – scary as hell – but fun."

Graeme, who is a Betfair ambassador, spoke about how challenging the long rehearsals really were.

He explained: "The fatigue levels on Strictly are tough. It's not fitness like putting in the hard yards in pre-season and pushing yourself until you feel sick and then waking up unable to move, but it's more the longevity because you're putting in a lot of hours in a day.

"It does still get you in good shape though and mentally, it's very tough. In many ways it was much harder than that because it was trying to remember step after step, after step – then having a woman half your size shouting at you in much scarier a way than any physical trainer in my cricket career ever did."

Graeme continued: "She's tough – although Oti is by no means a tyrant. She's a brilliant, brilliant teacher and a brilliant dancer.

"My favourite thing about Strictly was getting dressed up every Saturday night, going out there on camera and being in the limelight. Even though it was something I wasn't very good at compared to cricket, it was nice getting a bit of recognition again and having a laugh."

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Recalling his worst memory of taking part, the sportsman revealed: "The worst part was the cha-cha-cha. I was awful at that dance.

"It was a shambolic performance and it felt off from the beginning – and on top of that I was dressed up as Michael Jackson two weeks before the documentary came out!"

Strictly Come Dancing continues Saturday at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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