Strictly star is back

Rugby player and model Thom Evans admits that he was badly bitten by the Strictly Come Dancing bug and is thrilled to join the hit TV show tour which comes to Sheffield next week.

The former Scotland international who left the show in week five said: “It’s slightly weird to be back. I was gutted that my time was cut shorter than I would have thought.

“This is a second chance to go out there and fulfil the potential that I could have had if I’d stayed on the show for longer.

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“I didn’t really appreciate how many people watch the show, it’s only when you come out of that bubble. People feel the need to really speak their mind. It’s only then that you find out.

“It was really nice of people to come up and say how much they loved watching you and hoped you could have continued longer.”

He added: “I am grateful to have even had the chance to be on a show like this. It is amazing fun. I’m a lot better dancer now than I was before.”

Thom said he loved playing rugby in front of big crowds and couldn’t wait to dance in big arenas like the Motorpoint in Sheffield.

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“Some people find it quite daunting in many ways but the big crowds and the buzz you get was always good for me.

“I’m hoping it brings out the best in my dancing.”

Thom said that he lost two stone during the intense dance training, adding: “I didn’t do any weights because I didn’t want it to restrict me. Doing seven hours of cardio a day, there was nothing much to me! I was eating as much as I could.”

He admitted to being a bit apprehensive at starting to dance again after a long break between the TV show and the tour.

The show has opened up new opportunities to Thom, who was considered for the male lead in the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey.

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He said: “Acting is something I’m very passionate about. To even be considered for a role of that calibre was a massive honour. There were a couple of call-backs. It’s an amazing role.

“Jamie Dornan is perfect for it. I watched him in The Fall and I think he’ll be great.”

Thom said that he also wants to continue dancing: “I get such a buzz from it, like everyone in the show. It’ll be hard to maintain and keep it up but I’ll do my best.

He was full of praise for his professional partner, Iveta Lukosiute: “She is very similar to me in many ways. She has this personality off the dancefloor which is fun and loving. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

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Thom and Iveta will be stepping out at the Motorpoint Arena for two shows next Tuesday along with show winner Caroline Flack plus Mark Wright, Alison Hammond, Simon Webbe and Scott Mills.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood is directing this show. He’s making everyone, from judges to singers, dance in this show, which he promises will be spectacular.

Box office: at the Arena, call 0114 2565656 or online at www.motorpoint