Ex-Strictly Come Dancing star Gleb Savchenko gets ready to bare the flesh for his new calendar


Strictly Come Dancing star Gleb Savchenko, who last week quit the show, has promised to bare "a lot of flesh" in his 2017 calendar.

Gleb joined the BBC celebrity dancing competition as a professional dancer in 2015, waltzing through to the semi-finals with Countryfile presenter Anita Rani.

Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko's foxtrot
Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko's foxtrot (Guy Levy/BBC)

But on Tuesday he became the latest dancer to bow out of Strictly, citing family commitments.

The Russian-born 32-year-old, who models for his own annual calendar, said next year's edition would be less family-friendly.

Appearing on This Morning via videolink from Sydney with wife Elena Samodanova, he told presenters Holly Willoughby and James Martin: "2017, which I'm shooting here in Australia next week, is going to be really hot."

He explained that this year's calendar, which features him showing off his six-pack and posing with his shirt unbuttoned, was actually a PG version.

He said: "I was working a family show, BBC, Strictly, so a lot of pictures had to be toned down.

Strictly's Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko
Strictly's Anita Rani and Gleb Savchenko (Guy Levy/BBC)

"But next year is going to be full-on, so you're going to see a lot of flesh."

The couple insisted they had not been put off the show by the "Curse of Strictly", which has seen a number of romances and rumoured romances between celebrities and their professional partners.

Elena, who has been a judge on Dancing With The Stars, said: "Next week is our 10th anniversary, actually, and we've been doing TV shows for the past six years, and we really trust each other and we work with different partners all the time.

"So I think it's up to the couple. We really love each other and we had never heard of the Strictly curse before."

Gleb added: "If someone's looking for it, they'll find it, but if you stay focused on your work - like I did with Anita, I was coming to the studio and we just rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed. It was all about dancing, that's it.

"But whoever is available for the feelings, they'll find it."

Gleb said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and daughter, and could not commit to six more months of filming in the UK.

He said: "Olivia's going to start going to school, she's going to be six in November, and I want to be there - I want to wake up every morning, cook her breakfast, take her to school and really enjoy this time."

On his plans for the future, he added: "I want to invest more time into modelling, and perhaps a little a bit into acting. It would be a dream to play Johnny in Dirty Dancing, but with my accent probably I would be more likely to be cast as the Terminator."

Gleb Savchenko (Ray Burmiston/BBC)
Gleb Savchenko (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

Fellow dancers Aliona Vilani, Ola Jordan and Kristina Rihanoff announced at the end of last year that they would not be returning to the show. Tristan MacManus has also quit.

They will be replaced by Katya Jones, a world champion, Ukrainian champion Oksana Platero and top Spanish dance professional Gorka Marquez, the BBC announced.