Sir Tony Robinson backing Ed Balls to trump Strictly rivals and lift glitterball

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Sir Tony Robinson said he is backing Ed Balls to win Strictly Come Dancing because it is "the year of the weird elections".

The Blackadder actor was one of the star guests on BBC Two spin-off show It Takes Two and was introduced by the programme's host Zoe Ball as "Strictly's newest superfan".

He was joined by comedian Joe Pasquale, radio host Sara Cox and singer Russell Watson to discuss the contestants ahead of this weekend's Blackpool special.

Strictly: It Takes Two
Strictly: It Takes Two panel - Joe Pasquale, Russell Watson, Sara Cox and Sir Tony Robinson (BBC/iPlayer screengrab)

When asked who he wants to win the show, Sir Tony said: "It's the year of the weird elections: Ed Balls."

Joe also opted for the former shadow chancellor, and Sara and Russell chose Louise Redknapp.

During the episode, Sir Tony revealed how he became a fan of Strictly, and hinted that it was because he became bored of watching ITV's rival reality show The X Factor.

He said he had never seen the BBC dance show until the current series.

Ed Balls
Ed Balls in Blackpool (Peter Byrne PA Wire/PA Images)

Sir Tony said: "I used to watch another competitive show on another channel, and this year I was watching it and I thought, 'oh come on!', and I turned over and there was Strictly and it absolutely blew me away.

"It's like a pantomime, with Tess (Daly) and Claudia (Winkleman) being like Cinderella and Buttons, and I think we know who the ugly sisters are... Darcey (Bussell) is the good fairy, and all the contestants like the chorus."

Joe said of Ed's effort in the competition: "For a big, middle-aged man - he's like a little duck, he's amazing. He's half man, half duck. In all honesty, he moves for a big bloke, really well."

Sir Tony Robinson
Sir Tony Robinson (BBC/iPlayer screengrab)

He joked that he is keen every week to see how he is going to injure his dance partner Katya Jones.

The ex-Labour MP is set to jive to the 1957 Jerry Lee Lewis hit Great Balls Of Fire with Jones as the competition reaches the seaside town special.

Ed is expected to be lowered from the ceiling of Blackpool's Tower Ballroom playing a grand piano during Saturday night's performance as he prepares to top last week's pony dancing extravaganza that left judges speechless.

He has become an unlikely favourite in the race to win the Strictly glitterball this year, but he still has to fend off competition from Louise, Olympic long-jumper Greg Rutherford, TV barrister Judge Rinder, soap actor Danny Mac, gymnast Claudia Fragapane and BBC sports presenter Ore Oduba.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC 1 on Saturday at 6.55pm.