Johnny Ball welcomes Strictly dance-off return

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Johnny Ball

Johnny Ball

Johnny Ball has welcomed the return of the dance-off on 'Strictly Come Dancing' because he believes it is "fairer" for contestants and will ensure "better" dancers progress to the latter stages of the BBC One show.

Johnny Ball has welcomed the return of the dance-off on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

The 74-year-old TV personality believes it is "fairer" to reintroduce the stage - which sees two contestants and their partners go head-to-head in a bid to remain in the competition - to the Sunday nights results show in place of the public vote, because it will ensure "better" dancers progress to the latter stages of the competition.

He told the Daily Star newspaper: "In the past viewers have had sympathy for someone and voted to keep them in and a better dancer has ended up leaving the contest.

"Having the dance-off may be cruel but it is fairer. Heartbreak will come for everyone in the contest at some time - apart from the champ."

Meanwhile, fellow 'Strictly' star Denise Van Outen - who is partnered by professional dancer James Jordan - felt like she was "working as a spy" when she had to keep her appearance on the BBC One show a secret and admits it was "unbelievably" tough to hide the news from friends and family.

She told The Sun newspaper: "The past few months have been absolutely crazy as I've had to keep this under wraps. The lengths that I've had to go to to keep it secret were unbelievable.

"In any correspondence such as emails I was never allowed to mention the word 'Strictly'. I always had to refer to my new job as 'Legal', which was also my code name for the show.

"I even had decoy cars sent round to my house. I felt like I was working as a spy."

Other celebrities taking part in the competition include Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith, model Jerry Hall, Westlife singer Nicky Byrne, TV presenters Fern Britton and Richard Arnold and cricketer Michael Vaughan.

'Strictly Come Dancing' will kick off on BBC One on October 6.

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