Ed Balls: I was too old for the Strictly curse to hit me

Embargoed to 2030 Saturday September 3 For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of Ed Balls
Embargoed to 2030 Saturday September 3 For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of Ed Balls and Katya Jones on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Ed Balls has said he avoided the so-called “curse” of Strictly Come Dancing when he took part in the show two years ago because he was too old.

Balls, who was partnered with Katya Jones in the 2016 series, has also said the professional dancer made a “big mistake” in kissing her current dance partner, Seann Walsh.

Jones, who is married to fellow Strictly dancer Neil Jones, and comedian Walsh, who was in a relationship at the time, were pictured locking lips during a night out two weeks ago.

Strictly Come Dancing
Seann Walsh and Katya Jones (Guy Levy/BBC)

The former shadow chancellor, 51, told ITV’s Lorraine: “There is definitely a Strictly curse, year after year.

“Luckily there’s an age cut-off and I was well above the age.”

He said his wife, Yvette Cooper, found the notion of him having a romance with Jones unlikely, adding: “When she was asked about it, she would say ‘In his dreams’.”

Balls said Walsh and Jones have “had a very tough time the last few weeks”, adding: “Katya made a big mistake.

“Neil and Katya are good friends of ours, all they can do is come back and keep dancing.”

Balls and Jones, 29, made it to the 10th week in Strictly in 2016, and last year she won the show with actor Joe McFadden.

She and Walsh, 32, have faced scrutiny from some viewers over their kiss, but returned to face the music the week after the pictures were printed in the Sun newspaper.

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