Ed Balls revealed his most valuable lesson of 2016, and it's not what you think

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Ed Balls learnt a lot in 2016 - mainly how to dance and that he is more than just a former politician: he is a genuine entertainer.

But his fans might be surprised to know that the one thing the Strictly Come Dancing star will be taking away from the past year more than anything is not about dancing at all ... it's about spray tans.

According to the 49-year-old ex-shadow chancellor, he had no idea that people could actually add a beautiful, tanned glow to their skin with stuff from a bottle.

Ed Balls
Ed Balls (Guy Levy/BBC/PA Images)

He told Grazia magazine: "Probably my biggest surprise of 2016 was to discover that people really do have spray tans.

"I knew about sunbeds but I didn't know you could actually get a tan out of a bottle, or that it would feel so cold and tingly."

Of course, avid fans of Strictly will be well aware that he partook in a spray tan with the help of his dance partner Katya Jones, and it was perhaps one of the funniest social media moments of the year.

As well as his beauty regime discovery, Ed also spoke about what his biggest disappointment of the year was, and it wasn't leaving Strictly in the 10th week.

He said: "Politics aside, my biggest disappointment was my football team Norwich City being relegated from the Premier League. I am the club chairman and we all felt we let our supporters down."

Fair enough.