Ed Balls hadn't heard of his fellow Strictly Come Dancing contestants before the show
Ed Balls hadn't heard of his fellow 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestants before the show began.
The 49-year-old former Shadow Chancellor has a real "sense of camaraderie" with the other competitors, but he has admitted he was as oblivious to their career paths outside of the contest as they were about him.
When asked if he'd heard of his fellow contestants to Grazia magazine, he said: "Course not. But then most of them hadn't heard of me so that's fine."
Ed has revealed he doesn't think him and his partner Katya Jones will win the competition and is aware he needs to drastically improve to stay in the competition to the latter stages, although he thinks he would go home with the disco ball trophy if the show was voted solely on the entertainment factor instead of true dance ability.
He said: "I think the show changes as it goes on, towards a dance focus.
"So the only way I'll stay in beyond a certain point is if my dancing is clearly getting better.
"I'm not sure that people vote relatively across the group, I think they vote relatively across past performances.
"If I was only entertainment, it would end."
However, he has insisted he won't be pulling out of the competition any time soon.
He explained: "People are supporting you and paying you to vote."
Ed also admitted it came as a "shock" to learn he isn't as good a dancer as he first thought.
He said: "I hoped my disco moves would translate onto the floor, so it was a bit of a shock to find out they didn't.
"The problem is, there isn't anybody this year who is worse."
Ed - who has three children with wife Yvette Cooper - initially insisted on dancing in a suit but gave in to the show's flamboyant costumes after realising he looked like "the BBC insurance guy who does risk assessments" and now accepts every ensemble suggested to him.
He said: "So now, when they suggest loads of sequins, I say fine.
"I've always known that I had this strong inner-camp. I've just never quite revealed it in this way."