Strictly’s Karim Zeroual will dance this weekend despite illness

Strictly's Karim Zeroual will dance this weekend despite illness

Karim Zeroual will take to the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor this weekend just days after being forced to miss It Takes Two due to illness.

The CBBC presenter, 25, was due to appear on Strictly's spin-off show alongside his dance partner Amy Dowden on Wednesday night.

Dowden told the show's host Zoe Ball – who missed a few days presenting It Takes Two herself due to the flu – that he was "so disappointed" not to be there.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Strictly Come Dancing contestant Karim Zeroual and his professional dance partner Amy Dowden during rehearsals at a dance studio in London (Victoria Jones/PA)

She said: "He's got the lurgy so he's resting up because obviously we need him fighting fit, ready for Saturday night."

Zeroual said on Friday he was on the mend, telling the PA News agency: "It started off with a sore throat, just a bit of a cold, (I'm) just run down, (I'm) really just working hard, I just needed some bed time.

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Strictly 2019
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Alex Scott and Jamie Laing attending the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at the TV Centre, London
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Catherine Tyldesley onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Alex Scott onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Catherine Tyldesley onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Jamie Laing and David James arrive onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Catherine Tyldesley onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Anneka Rice and Karim Zeroual arrive onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Catherine Tyldesley and James Cracknell arrive onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Catherine Tyldesley and James Cracknell arrive onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Anton du Beke and Dianne Buswell perform onstage during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Launch at Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Karen Hauer at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Graziano di Prima at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Nancy Xu at the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Launch at BBC Broadcasting House. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Nancy Xu at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Nadiya Bychkova at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Anton Du Bek at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/08/26: Nadiya Bychkova at the Strictly Come Dancing Launch at BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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"I literally just sat there (in bed), drank loads of water, honey lemon and ginger, but I'm on the way up now."

He added: "It would take a lot to not get me down (there) on Saturday, that's for sure. But that's kind of what I had in mind.

"I thought you know what, if I need to just have a bit of a bed day so I'm alright for the dress run on Friday and I'm alright for the show on Saturday, that was my main priority really."

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden will be dancing the tango this week(Victoria Jones/PA)

The pair will perform a tango to George Ezra's Paradise on Saturday night.

They are currently sitting mid-way on the Strictly leaderboard, with a score of 26. Soap star Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse are in the top spot with a score of 38.

Zeroual and Dowden have so far impressed the judges and earned high scores of 31 and 32 respectively. When scores were combined for week one and week two, they found themselves at the top of the leaderboard.

Asked if he suffers pre-show nerves, he said: "I am pretty confident, but with Strictly, oh my goodness. I'm the one on the Saturday calming everyone down.

Strictly Come Dancing 2019
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden are mid-way on the leaderboard (Victoria Jones/PA)

"And then before we go on, we'll run it through and I make silly mistakes and then I start shaking like a leaf.

"I go out there, the first four steps, I'm a mess, I'm looking around and there's nothing that can prepare you for the actual live. And then I just shake."

Two celebrities – Anneka Rice and James Cracknell – have left the series so far.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday at 6.40pm.

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