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Daniel O'Donnell: I just can't shake the Strictly nerves - The Irish News
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Daniel O'Donnell: I just can't shake the Strictly nerves

Kristina Rihanoff and Daniel O'Donnell took to the dancefloor of the Albert Hall in London on Thursday

DANIEL O'Donnell has admitted he is still finding it hard to "shake" off the nerves as he prepares to Cha Cha his way onto the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor.

Despite preparing to take the floor for his third dance on the popular BBC One show, the Donegal singer has admitted he's finding rehearsals tough.

However, the punishing training schedule aside, he says he is buoyed by the massive support from fans at home in Ireland and abroad.

The star from Kincasslagh and dance partner Kristina Rihanoff will perform the Cha Cha to Summer Nights from Grease on Saturday.

But despite appearing more relaxed last week Daniel told The Irish News on Friday night that he has been finding it hard to calm his nerves.

"I was jittery in rehearsals today," he said.

"I just can't understand the nerves, I don't know why I am so nervous, I just can't shake them."

The 53-year-old said after tackling the Charleston last week, he had experienced a difficult week in learning the Cha Cha.

"I was a difficult start to the week, on Monday and Tuesday I couldn't get my head around the steps," he said.

"I found this week the hardest week of all, I have learned this week is that Tuesday is the hardest day and I say 'I can't do this'.

"But as bad as it's been, I got past it and I'm doing my best and I hope people are delighted with it.

"Kristina is so good and she keeps telling me you will get better.

"It's good fun but it's not a thing that comes easy to me, it's a huge ask for us all.

"To reproduce the dance live out there on a Saturday night - it's a big task remembering it all and I'm constantly thinking ahead for what steps I need to do next."

This week will also see O'Donnell play Danny Zuko in the movie-themed show.

"It's taken me a while to get to get into character, I find that difficult to get into character," he said.

"We did a Rock and Roll show a few years back where Mary Duffy and I got into high school character, so I need to bring my mind back to that before Saturday night."

But the crooner said he had been thrilled by the immense support from home in Ireland.

"It's been amazing, I can hardly believe what they (fans) have done," he said.

"The interest has been fantastic. I didn't imagine when I started this that there would be such interest.

"I knew it was a huge show, but to have this is all is just fantastic.

"To everyone at home, I really appreciate the support, it's been amazing."

Strictly Come Dancing is on BBC One at 6.20pm.


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