Jamie Laing has joked that the triumph of Kelvin Fletcher on Strictly Come Dancing last year has put pressure on him to perform well in the competition this year, and said: “If I get injured again I think it will just be embarrassing.”
The Made In Chelsea star was replaced by the Emmerdale actor when he was hurt during the launch show of the last series.
Fletcher was brought in at the last minute and went on to win the competition with Laing’s former professional partner Oti Mabuse.
Laing said: “That guy, his hips were just like the snake that went round!
“I feel like he has really put the pressure on for me to do well this year, but also I feel like everyone should thank me because I gave Strictly Kelvin Fletcher, because I was knocked out, so I feel like it’s a good thing.
“You know what, I don’t feel that much pressure, I’m just really excited to get going. I think that the competition is going to be amazing, everyone has got dance moves.
“As long as you do your best I think that is all that really matters, but yes, I really want to win.”
Laing, who tore his plantar fascia ligament during the launch, said he will not be too concerned about getting injured again, adding: “I played a lot of sport when I was younger and you got injured playing sport, and then you went back into rugby matches or football matches or tennis matches, or whatever it was, and didn’t think about the injury, so I don’t think I will think about the injury at all.
“I got a lot of physio, I’ve worked hard on it, so hopefully it will be fine.
“If I get injured again I think it will just be embarrassing, I can’t let that happen.
“Last time people felt sorry for me, this time people will be like, ‘what a wimp’, so hopefully I don’t get injured this year.”
However, Laing did admit he struggled to maintain his fitness during lockdown and said: “I tried to keep in shape for a bit, I think I’m in shape.
“I ate a lot of cake, which it turns out is not that healthy, so I’ve stopped eating cake and I’ve gone on really long walks, so I’m really fit, that is my fitness at the moment.
“I always think naivety is the best thing, naivety is a really big weapon in everything. If you over-prepare for stuff sometimes you fall quicker than if you haven’t prepared, so under-prepare.
“The best business plan is no business plan. Terrible advice!”
Laing also joked that he had not told his girlfriend, Made In Chelsea co-star Sophie Habboo, about the so-called “Strictly curse”, saying: “We didn’t speak too much about the Strictly curse, I hid it from her, I didn’t tell her.
“I’m very lucky to be with my girlfriend, she is a lot better than me in every single way so I don’t worry about the Strictly curse, and if any Strictly curse ever did happen it would be a complete shame on me so I don’t think it would ever happen.”
This year’s series will return on October 17 for the launch show.