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Ore Oduba: Ed Balls is cuddly

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Ore Oduba: Ed Balls is cuddly

Ore Oduba thinks Ed Balls is "a pillar of strength".

The 31-year-old sports presenter is currently starring with the politician in 'Strictly Come Dancing', and has said that Ed, 49, acts as the father figure to the group of celebrity contestants - who currently consist of Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac, Claudia Fragapane and Robert Rinder - and "gives good hugs".

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Ore said: "Ed is like a pillar of strength, he's so cuddly! Last weekend [during Greg Rutherford's dance-off], I found myself leaning on his shoulder for comfort.

"He was the person I thought would give the best embrace at that point, he gives good hugs.

"Everyone's gravitated towards him, he's like a dad to us all. He loves music, he's always singing backstage behind the scenes, you can hear him even if you're not in the same room."

And Ore says that despite the former shadow chancellor always finding himself at the bottom of the leaderboard, his fellow contestants aren't surprised the public vote to keep him in the competition.

He added: "Ed's success hasn't been a surprise to us [contestants]. A lot of us said very early on: 'Ed is embracing every single thing about the show, you'll be surprised. He can move.'

"People are voting for what they want. I'm not going to say how it might be, I just love Ed and he deserves to be there."

Meanwhile, Ore also had nothing but kind words to say about Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford, who was kicked off the show last weekend after falling into the dance-off for the second week in a row.

Ore said: "On the first day, Greg and I discovered we shared the same birthday, and since then we've been really close.

"Greg's a strong guy, who's been through a lot, but 'Strictly...' is a big deal."