Adrian Chiles on his family’s horrified reaction to his Strictly festive stint

The TV presenter admitted he wanted to ‘leave the country’ when he first began training for the show.
The TV presenter admitted he wanted to ‘leave the country’ when he first began training for the show.

Adrian Chiles has revealed his family and friends were “horrified” when he first told them he was performing in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.

The TV presenter and sports commentator, 54, admitted he too was “terrified” and “full of regret” when he first began rehearsals but now feels the experience has been a “real privilege”.

Chiles will be performing an American smooth to a rendition of White Christmas by Otis Redding with new professional dancer Jowita Przystal.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
Adrian Chiles is Jowita Przystal’s first celebrity partner (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Discussing his family and friends’ reaction, he said: “They were absolutely, to a man and woman, horrified!

“Even though my mum’s a massive fan of the show, she said, ‘Oh God!’

“But then as soon as we sent them the first videos from training they all went, ‘Oh, alright, he might not be horrendous after all!'”

Chiles, who previously co-presented both The One Show and Daybreak with Christine Lampard, added: “If you’d asked me that question 11 days ago, I’d have said absolutely terrified and full of regret, remorse and wanting to leave the country!

“I might feel like that after the show goes out … you never know!

“But, honestly, I wouldn’t have missed it, it’s been a real privilege, and I’m not just saying that, to meet Jowita, work intensively on something and just focus on that.

“Everyone is so flipping nice, I never use the word “vibe”, but the vibe is fantastic!”

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Semi Final – First Leg – Atletico Madrid v Chelsea – Vincente Calderon Stadium
The sports commentator admitted he accidentally broke wind during rehearsals (Nick Potts/PA)

The TV star revealed he would previously only dance by himself without a mirror present otherwise he would be “filled with shame and paralysed”.

However, after weeks of training, his professional partner said he started loosening up and having more confidence in himself.

Chiles did confess that he “broke wind” the first time he ever lifted Przystal, adding: “She was very polite and pretended not to notice, and I pretended it was my shoes on the floor!”

Przystal was among the new professional dancers to join the show this year, with Chiles being her first celebrity contestant as she was not paired up with one during the recent series.

Chiles will be performing an American smooth with partner Jowita Przystal (Guy Levy/BBC/PA) (Guy Levy/BBC/Guy Levy)

She added: “Adrian is an amazing student, I couldn’t ask for a better one as my first experience partnered with a celebrity.

“Adrian is such a gentleman, literally he’s so sweet and kind. He always listens and never questions me.

“It sounds awful but he does whatever I want during rehearsals! I even got him smiling!”

Chiles added that he had been inspired by Przystal’s attitude and planned to try and be “more positive and enjoy things more” in the New Year.

“Dread and doubt gets you nowhere. I’m 54, it might be too late to alter my mental state but this has been a wake-up call to actually just do that. I’m serious about that,” he said.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special airs on Christmas Day on BBC One at 5:10pm.