Jacqui Smith has hailed Strictly Come Dancing as the thing the country needs now.
The former home secretary will be seen in the hit BBC One series on Saturday night when it returns to screens.
During the launch show the celebrities will be paired with their professional dancers.
Smith, 57, told Good Morning Britain: “I’m having the time of my life, it is absolutely brilliant.
“We’re in proper training now for the first live dance, which is going to be happening a week on Saturday.
“So we’ve actually recorded the show that is going out tomorrow and all that I can say is my dancing is already better than it will be on the show tomorrow.
“The main use of alcohol as far as I’m concerned at the moment is rubbing it into my aching feet because my poor old body is taking a battering.
“But I have to say, even the youngsters on the show are also physically suffering, so it’s not just us oldies who are under the cosh.
“But we are all absolutely loving it and I think, for all of the reasons we talked about, a bit of sparkle and a bit of dance is what the country needs now”.
According to analysis by the PA news agency, this year’s Strictly line-up is also the most diverse since the show began.
One third of the show’s contestants are non-white – the same record-breaking proportion as last year, and this year will also see the first same-sex couple take to the dance floor.
Boxer Nicola Adams will be part of the show’s first same-sex couple and, while official pairings have not yet been confirmed by the BBC, reports have speculated that she will be partnered with Katya Jones.
Also in the 12-strong line-up alongside Adams and Smith are YouTube star HRVY, real name Harvey Leigh Cantwell, comedian Bill Bailey, actress Caroline Quentin, reality star Jamie Laing and The Wanted’s Max George.
They are joined by DJ Clara Amfo, BBC pundit and former NFL star Jason Bell, former Royal Marine and Invictus Games medallist JJ Chalmers, soap star Maisie Smith and Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh.
– Strictly Come Dancing’s launch show airs on BBC One on October 17 at 7.50pm.