Strictly’s Ranvir praises ‘sizzling’ Giovanni and calls show curse a ‘bloody miracle’
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It happens every year. A celebrity contestant makes their sparkling debut in the Strictly ballroom and their life is transformed. And we're not just talking about the beautiful costumes. It's like the famous glitterball has a magical, hypnotic effect.
Good Morning Britain political editor Ranvir Singh, 43, can vouch for this. She is one of the lucky ones who, five weeks in, is still living in the star-studded parallel universe that is BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing. On planet Strictly, you spend your days quite literally in the hands of a professional dancer, surrounded by sequins.
"It's totally surreal," Ranvir said. "I don't feel like myself when I'm out on the stage. It's taking some getting used to."
Given that she's already topped the leaderboard, we think Ranvir might have a few more weeks to get used to it – which could take her all the way to the final.
Ranvir – who lives with her eight-year-old son Tushaan, from her marriage to ex-husband Ranjeet, and their new puppy Shmizzles – shares her Strictly story so far.
Ranvir Singh is partnered with Giovanni Pernice on this year's Strictly
(Image: Ranvir Singh/Instagram)
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The TV star says: "I feel very, very lucky to be part of the show. But it's a very peculiar feeling, standing in front of the judges and hearing their comments and scores. I can't believe it's my life sometimes."
Gushing about her Italian dance partner, with whom her chemistry has even been noted by her GMB colleagues, Ranvir gushed: "Giovanni is so amazing, he doesn't need me to be sensational. He sizzles all by himself. It doesn't matter whether I'm in the room or not, he's sizzling away. The dances are all about being romantic and, of course, we have to make them convincing.
"You've got to be game when you take part in Strictly. You can't do things halfheartedly. I admit, it doesn't come easily. You have to break down some of your own barriers and do things that can feel embarrassing at first.
"It's very intimate," she added. "Then your face is right in their face. It's taken a bit of getting used to."
Ranvir has been wowing judges and viewers alike with her stomping routines
Ranvir, who announced she'd split from her husband after appearing on the show, says Strictly has come at the right time for her.
"Sometimes in life, you feel like you're going against the tide. And then out of nowhere, something changes and it all works out.
"If I got hit by the curse, it would be a bloody miracle. Oh my God, that would be hilarious. Most of the dancers were born in 1990 or something. I'm old enough to be their mother. It's very optimistic and complimentary that anyone would think I would be struck by the curse."
Ranvir has struck up a firm friendship with Giovanni
She joked it would be a 'miracle' to be hit by the infamous Strictly curse
The GMB reporter says she credits 30-year-old Giovanni for helping to restore her body confidence.
"I've always struggled with body image. Before I started Strictly, I was a bit of a yo-yoer with my weight and I'd always be on the scales. But dancing has helped me relate to my body in a new way. I haven't thought about dress sizes or calories or my weight for weeks."
"It's not about the weight any more, it's the fact I feel confident in my own skin. I walk differently and hold myself differently."
Ranvir has revealed she's taken extreme measures to protect her feet – by wearing slippers on GMB
Ranvir said the balls of her feet were in agony
But with the glitz also comes the not so glamour, Ranvir revealed: "There's always an ache. And I've been wearing slippers under my desk on GMB as the balls of my feet are so sore. Strictly is quite an extreme physical experience. To do it justice, you've got to go for it and commit to the training. It's a bit like Bear Grylls but with sequins and a ballroom. You're also a working single mum.
"They do say, if you want a job done properly, ask a busy mum. We learnt the foxtrot dance in two days. I work well under pressure. An imminent deadline might make some people feel sick and nervous but I thrive in that situation. Don't get me wrong, there is an element of dread and nerves just before I go on stage. But the difference is it doesn't make me shrink into a tiny ball, it powers me to rise up.
"I can handle it, that's my job – to present on live TV. At least I could bring that to the table, because apart from that, I had nothing else to offer Giovanni, poor chap."
Saturday, BBC1, 7.15pm and Sunday, 7.25pm. Good Morning Britain is on weekdays, ITV, from 6am.