Strictly’s Zara McDermott issued warning from Jamie Laing ahead of first dance

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    After spending weeks in the dance-off until he eventually made the Strictly final, Jamie Laing has warned ex-Made In Chelsea pal Zara McDermott to be prepared for embarrassment.

    The first Love Island star to step on to the dancefloor, Zara, 26, and her pro partner Graziano Di Prima, 29, have been dubbed the series’ hottest couple.

    Jamie – who was partnered with Karen Hauer and lost the Glitterball to comic Bill Bailey in 2020 – says: "I told Zara you’ve got to really enjoy it, be yourself and take any embarrassment away. And also get rid of all of your diary commitments because it’s going to be the toughest weeks of your life – one ­billion percent."

    READ MORE: Strictly Come Dancing judges' love lives – 'sued by ex', fat shamed and IVF struggles

    As a podcaster, founder of confectionary company Candy Kittens and great-great grandson of McVitie’s digestive biscuit creator Sir Alexander Grant 1st Baronet, dancing was completely out of Jamie’s comfort zone.

    This year, many of the celebrities have previous dance experience, including West End actor Layton Williams, presenter Angela Rippon and ex-EastEnder Nigel Harman.

    Jamie, 34, says: “I think Layton is going to be very good because he’s a performer, he’ll be pretty special. It’s impossible to say that they don’t have a sort of advantage 100%, but that doesn’t mean everyone else can’t have just as good of a chance.

    “I broke the record for the most amount of dance-offs but haven’t done any dancing recently, which is kind of upsetting. It’s still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done and I loved every ­single second of it.

    “The greatest thing about Strictly Come Dancing is that it’s one big family. I saw them at the National TV Awards recently – I love Gio (Giovanni Pernice) to bits.”

    As for his own family, after tying the knot with Sophie Habboo – his Made In Chelsea co-star and girlfriend – in April the couple are already thinking about when they can renew their vows.

    Jamie says: “That’s definitely something that I would like to do with Sophie – it would be amazing to do that.

    “What I’ve worked out is that I love throwing a party, so we’ll probably consider doing it sooner rather than later.

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    “I like wearing my wedding ring, I like the tradition around it.”

    Babies will be on the horizon – a lot less imminently, however. Jamie, who hosts the NewlyWeds podcast with Sophie, says: “I would like to have a few kids but not quite yet. I think we’ve got a couple years or something like that to ­enjoy life and be married and then go from there.

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    “Then I would go to the countryside, probably to the Cotswolds – that is where my family lives – have my kids and have the nicest time and be very family-oriented.”

    He adds: “We have date nights all the time, you’ve got to keep the spark alive. I dress up, always buy her presents, and I take her to dinner a lot. We enjoy doing the same things together. It’s so important to make time for each other.”

    Jamie is a host at this year’s GoCardless JustGiving Awards, which take place at London’s Roundhouse on September 25. His Private Parts podcast sees him interview celebs about their most intimate stories and naked truths

    • Strictly Come Dancing
    • Jamie Laing
    • Zara McDermott
    • Made in Chelsea

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