Mike Bushell, 53, was confirmed to be joining the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 line-up earlier this month, with the BBC Breakfast presenter set to don his dancing shoes when the show returns to screens soon. Now, his friend and Strictly 2018 star Danny John-Jules, 58, has revealed he encouraged him to take part, telling Metro: “Before he actually signed he was like, ‘What’s it like? Did you have a good time?’ And I said to him, ‘Mike, do it. It’s a great experience. The dancing and all of that, the performance, on the night, the cheering… that’s showbiz.
“’The rest of it you can keep.’”
Danny also recalled the moment he found out pal Mike had agreed to do Strictly, saying: “Funnily enough, we had the conversation at his wedding.
“Obviously, he’s not gonna not say that he’s doing it and have me find out in the press, because that’s silly.”
Danny went on to say his BBC Breakfast presenter pal was going to be the “perfect competitor” on Strictly and that he would give “110 per cent” to the show.
The Red Dwarf actor’s words of encouragement come after last year’s claims he had been “bullying” his professional dance partner Amy Dowden, 28.
Both he and Amy denied the reports, which tinged his Strictly journey with negativity, at the time and Danny recently hit back at the accusations once again.
“I’ve said is since day one that that rubbish came out and I say it today, my conscience is clean,” he told the publication.
“Every single person in the show associated with the show knows the truth and know that I am telling the truth.”
At the time, Amy dispelled rumours of Danny “bullying” her backstage, telling Strictly’s It Takes Two things had simply got “a little bit intense” during rehearsals.
“I’ve never felt bullied or threatened by Danny,” she insisted.
Danny and Amy were among the highest scoring pairs in the early stages of Strictly last year, topping the leaderboard in week five.
However, he began to struggle with a disappointing Quickstep two weeks later and they were subsequently eliminated in week eight.
Although Danny has high hopes for his friend, Mike’s chances with bookies aren’t looking too good.
Having suffered a hilarious gaffe on BBC Breakfast when he fell into a pool during a broadcast earlier this year, the presenter is odds on to be the first to fall on Strictly.
Ladbrokes have him at 2/1 to suffer a fax pas during the show’s opening night.
Strictly Come Dancing 2019 launches later this summer on BBC One.