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Robert Webb said yes to Strictly Come Dancing after a near-death experience

Robert Webb - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Robert Webb has revealed how a near-death experience inspired him to sign up for Strictly Come Dancing.

The comedian, actor and writer is one of fifteen celebs who make up this year's Strictly line up.

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And as he prepares to hit the dancefloor for the first time, Robert has shared just why he said yes to the offer from Strictly to take part.

He explained: "It's just a straightforward wish to jump up and down in funny costumes for the viewing pleasure of the ladies and gentlemen of the British public mainly.

"There's also the fact that two years ago, I had to have quite a big heart operation, which made me think, 'This is no time to be cool’. It gave me a slightly different perspective. It was between yes and no and yes felt like the bigger and more generous and more expansive answer.

"No would have left me feeling like a coward."

Strictly isn't Robert's first time on a dancing show, previously making a now iconic appearance on Let's Dance for Comic Relief.

He reflected on the experience: "The only thing I've done that was structured choreography was when I did Let’s Dance for Comic Relief in 2009 and I did a dance recreating the famous dance scene from Flashdance. That was fun but it was really hard. I'm no better than anybody else learning or remembering moves but I know from the outside it looks like that because I went on to win it.

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"But, I know the truth and the truth is that the first live performance was the first time I got from start to finish without stopping! I was just utterly terrified beyond belief.

"I’m hoping it won’t be as bad this time as I’ll have longer to rehearse and a partner!"

He added: "I think in the early weeks, I'll be hanging on for dear life and just trying to survive from one moment to the next but if I get halfway through then I think I will start to invest in putting trip wires outside dressing room doors and spiking their energy drinks with laxatives."

Other names announced for 2021's Strictly Come Dancing line up include telly presenter AJ Odudu, cookery author John Whaite, BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker, gold-medal Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and TV presenter and actor Rhys Stephenson.

Also on the line up are McFly star Tom Fletcher, Dragons' Den star Sara Davies, former England rubgy player and punidt Ugo Monye, EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis and actress Nina Wadia OBE.

Finishing the cast are soap actress Katie McGlynn, chef & social media influencer Matilda 'Tilly' Ramsay and comedian and presenter Judi Love.

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Strictly airs Saturday and Sunday nights on BBC One.

Picture: Robert Webb - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

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