Strictly Come Dancing professional Nancy Xu said she’s “loving” her time with Jamie Borthwick on the show’s Christmas special following a reported clash with her former dance partner Les Dennis earlier this year. Sharing her thoughts on her new partnership, Nancy, 32, said while it can be “really hard” and “difficult” to teach and get to know a celebrity quickly, she had no issue with EastEnders actor Jamie, 29.
She spilled: “I am loving it, so so so much! The first time we met each other, he made me laugh non-stop. He gives it his all and trusts me and tries everything. Jamie has even been sharing his musical taste with me, and I’ve been sharing different styles of dances as well and I think I can see the sparkle in his eyes!”
Nancy added while time with the actor had gone “quick”, the short-lived period had been “so lovely”. “I’m so glad I have him as my Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special partner,” she added. Of his time doing the Strictly special, Jamie added of Nancy: “I think I am quite a quick learner, remembering the steps I find relatively simple, but mastering them is a whole other level.
“And we’ve had such a laugh, but when it’s time for us to work we do what we need to do. But it’s so important we have a laugh. I’ve tried to absorb as much as I can while we’re together. The couples dancing, and rehearsing with all of the others really has been such a thrill.”
In the main competition earlier this year, Nancy and Les became the first pairing to be voted off the show after performing just two dances together. Following his exit, the professional dancer mentioned “challenges” the pair had faced in her exit speech.
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She said: “It’s been a journey. This is such a short but a sweet journey. A lot of challenges we all know, but to see you (to Les) every day improve yourself. I respect you so, so much.” Les added: “I’ve had the best time, [Nancy] has been amazing, a great teacher, she’s really put me through my paces. I did as well as I could for you, I hope!”
Pointing at his fellow co-stars, he continued: “That lot up there, I’m going to miss you so much. I really appreciate and understand the judges’ point of view, thank you so much.” Les went on to say he “hoped” he entertained the nation, adding: “Strictly is the best and the people who put this on, you’re just all amazing!”
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After their departure, a source claimed the pair were “polar opposites” and clashed in rehearsals. They told The Sun: “Les was often moody and erratic because he found the training a very draining process. He’s almost 70 so was knackered just two weeks in and this led to clashes with Nancy.
“His mood didn’t match Nancy’s enthusiasm and positivity which created tension and discord in the studio.Les became frustrated at the slightest misstep and would lose his cool, while Nancy was very patient and encouraging which only rankled Les even more. They were just polar opposites.”
Conflicting sources however said the duo “never really fell out” and were “always respectful to each other” but simply found it “impossible to gel” during training. Express.co.uk contacted a representative for Les, Nancy and Strictly at the time, but didn’t receive a reply.
Jamie is one of six contestants hoping to win the Glitterball trophy in the Christmas special alongside; Dan Snow, Sally Nugent, Tillie Amartey, Danny Cipriani and Keisha Buchanan.
Strictly Come Dancing: Christmas Special airs Christmas Day at 4.40pm on BBC One.
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