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Chester MP backing Ed Balls in the Strictly ballroom

But Chris Matheson MP lets slip that Ed is not really his favourite dancer 

Ed Balls with his partner Katya Jones. Photographer: GUY LEVY

Chester MP Chris Matheson will be returning a favour when he supports Labour colleague Ed Balls to win the BBC hit show Strictly Come Dancing which starts for real this Friday evening (September 23).

The former shadow chancellor backed Mr Matheson when he was in his own contest, minus sequins, to persuade the electorate of Chester to vote for him as its member of parliament.

This was a feat he only achieved following two nail-biting recounts with all the drama of a Strictly grand final.

David Holmes
Chester Labour MP Chris Matheson

Mr Balls came to Chester twice during the run-up to the May 2015 election proving himself a hit with the public - a trick he will need to repeat as a 100-1 rank outsider in Strictly despite being partnered with the wonderful professional dancer Katya Jones.

He performed Donald Duck and pig impressions for tots at Kingsway Children’s Centre and took time to ‘high-five’ voters and have selfies taken with fans. He also spied a Lego model of former Cestrian John Prescott in the Lego version of Chester in the market hall.

Unfortunately for Mr Balls he later lost his Morley and Outwood seat in Leeds to the Conservative’s Andrea Jenkyns by a margin of 3.6%.

Mr Matheson, from Hoole, who has been to see Strictly being filmed with his family, said: “I will certainly be supporting Ed in Strictly but I must say Karen Clifton is my favourite dancer.”

Karen Clifton and her partner Will Young on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing. Photo: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

Asked whether he himself had the skills to pull off a passable pasodoble or a knee-trembling tango, he replied: ‘No, I’m awful, but if Karen Clifton wants to teach me then I’d be happy to learn from her.”

We bet you would Mr Matheson.

■ The live Strictly shows begin on BBC1 this Friday (September 23) at 9pm and continue on Saturday (September 24) at 6.30pm.

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