Diane Abbott: Why I turned down Strictly Come Dancing invitation

Diane Abbott has said she turned down the chance to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

Former Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith is among the 12 contestants announced for the 2020 line-up, joining the likes of actress Caroline Quentin and comedian Bill Bailey.

Labour MP Ms Abbott, a former shadow home secretary, was asked during a Sunday morning political interview if the hit BBC One show had ever approached her to be a contestant.

12 PHOTOS
Strictly Come Dancing: The 2020 line-up
See Gallery
Strictly Come Dancing: The 2020 line-up
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Maisie Smith attends the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
HRVY poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere for the film 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker', in central London, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Britain's Home Secretary Jacqui Smith delivers her speech during the second day of the Labour Party Conference, in Manchester, northern England, Sunday Sept. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Jamie Laing (PA)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Bill Bailey with Fodey the Komondor at Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham to support the Be Lungworm Aware campaign to raise awareness of the lungworm parasite which can be fatal to dogs.
File photo dated 09-08-2012 of Great Britain's Nicola Adams with her gold medal won in the boxing 51kg category at Team GB house in London.
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Caroline Quentin attends an after party celebrating the press night performance of "Relative Values" at Mint Leaf restaurant on April 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Prince Harry (left) chats with former competitor and now commentator JJ Chalmers outside the competitor's tent at the swimming pool during the Invictus Games 2016 at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.
Ranvir Singh attending the ITV Summer Party 2019 at Nobu Shoreditch in London (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 31: Max George of The Wanted performs onstage during day 2 of Fusioni Festival 2014 on August 31, 2014 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Clara Amfo attends The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on February 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Redferns)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 06: NFL player Jason Bell attends Rolling Stone Live SF with Talent Resources on February 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Rolling Stone)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Ms Abbott told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "They have, and I turned them down.

"I couldn't possibly do it. I think Jacqui's very brave."

Asked why she felt she could not do the show, Ms Abbott joked: "Because you'll be surprised to know I'm not someone with natural rhythm and I didn't want it exposed to millions of television viewers."

Former Labour colleague Ed Balls is also among the politicians to have taken part in the show in recent years.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS