Debbie McGee has said she feels less fit than she was before Strictly Come Dancing, despite the months of dance training she has endured.
The broadcaster, who made it to the final of the BBC One show on Saturday night, said that missing out on her regular yoga and Pilates sessions in lieu of hitting the dancefloor has impacted her figure.
The 59-year-old told ITV’s Loose Women: “I haven’t done (yoga and Pilates) since I started Strictly, and I can feel the difference.
“I’m not quite as toned and fit, even though I’ve been dancing, as I was when I started. My arms and things are too skinny.”
McGee added that, despite her physical appearance changing after missing out on the toning exercises, she has been able to do the splits thanks to her Strictly training and being encouraged by her dance partner Giovanni Pernice.
“The interesting thing was, on the very first week when Giovanni and I started working together, I wasn’t anywhere near as loose – I couldn’t do the splits, I could get to about a V-shape, because even with yoga I’d never bothered doing the splits for years,” she said.
“But he said to me to stretch every day, so every day I used to go in half an hour before him, do a warm-up and stretch.
“So by week four or something I could get into the splits easily.”
McGee also responded to the ongoing speculation that she was romantically involved with 27-year-old Pernice.
She said: “We really do have a very special chemistry, he’s really special to me and I’m sure I am to him.
“We love each other to bits, but there was nothing more than a friendship and this amazing working partnership. We loved dancing together and I think that’s why people thought there was a romance, because when you dance it’s very physical.”
Asked if it was strange to be so close to another man after the death of her husband Paul Daniels last year, McGee said: “I never really thought about it, because it was learning to dance.
“I didn’t really think about it in that way, that this is me being up close with a strange person because I didn’t feel uncomfortable with Giovanni.
“From day one, I felt comfortable with him. There wasn’t anything that made me feel shy.”
She added: “One of those lifts, he had to put his hand between my legs, and that’s as close as you can get to a person!
“I can’t explain why but we just were really comfortable in each other’s company, so I never felt anything that felt wrong.”