Mike Bushell has revealed that his wife Emily Bond wanted him to have Katya Jones as his Strictly Come Dancing partner, despite the scandal surrounding the Russian professional last year.
Katya hit the headlines last October when she pictured snogging comedian Seann Walsh in the street following a late night training session – despite being married to Neil Jones at the time.
But Mike says his wife was over the moon when his partnership with Katya was confirmed because she’s known for taking risks.
Speaking on Chris Moyles’ Radio X breakfast show, Mike said: “My wife thought Katya would be the best choreographer because she takes risks.”
Mike, 53, said his wife Emily, 39, is a a huge fan of the show and got glued to it last year.
And now he’s starring in the dance contest himself, the sports presenter is hopeful that Katya can be the woman to take him further into the compeition.
“If you can get Ed Balls to Blackpool then we can at least get to Halloween ,” said Mike, of Katya’s 2016 partner.
Mike and Katya were awarded a score of 22 from the judges for their first performance on Saturday night – putting them just a point above Katya’s estranged husband Neil and his partner Alex Scott.
This is the first year Neil has competed in Strictly with a celebrity after being a background dancer and regular on It Takes Two.
Just weeks before the new series launched, Katya and Neil announced they had split because their 11-year relationship had become like a friendship.
Breaking the news in a statement to Instagram , the pair said they would always love each other but in ‘different ways.’
They will continue to work alongside each other on Strictly and keep up their professional partnership outside of the show.
*Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturdays on BBC One at 7pm