Simon Rimmer, 55, appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, partnered with Karen Clifton. But it wasn’t easy for him as in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the Sunday Brunch host revealed he performed on the show with not only a “snapped Achilles” but in the midst of juggling his busy lifestyle. The TV star divulged: “At the time, I was a 54-year-old bloke who’d never danced before with a dodgy knee and a snapped Achilles and arthritis in my left hip.” The father-of-two revealed it was not only his health which was a challenge but admitted his lack of dance experience made it all the more “tricky” on Strictly.
Simon said: “Oh my god every single bit was difficult. I was doing Strictly, I was doing Sunday Brunch and I had restaurants to run.
“I didn’t know the steps of anything. I had no muscle memory, I had no fallback position or anything at all. So it was all tricky.”
But the Channel 4 presenter credited his dance partner and admitted he just wanted Karen to be “proud of him”.
The Sunday Brunch host said: “The reality of the situation is all you care about is what your pro-dancer thinks.
“I just wanted Karen to be proud of me. That was all I cared about really.”
He said she has become a good friend and the pair have stayed in contact since the series came to an end. The TV chef spilled: “I’m still very much in touch with her [Karen].
“She’s a proper lass. She’s very intense. You know, all the pro-dancers are. They are 100 per cent professional and they push you. They think you can do a little bit, they want to push you to do that little bit more.”
The former Strictly star revealed he keeps in touch with his co-stars on the show, including Gemma Atkinson and Debbie McGee.
He said: “I speak to Gemma a lot. She lives in Manchester so we speak a lot. I spoke to Debbie McGee the other week and I speak to Richard Coles quite a bit.
“Aston, he and I have been trying to go out for a beer for the last six months and still haven’t managed it. So yeah, I’m pretty friendly with a good group of them.”
Meanwhile, Simon also detailed what the professional dancers like to consume behind the scenes, which he admitted came as a “shock”.
The small-screen star revealed the Strictly starts eat sweets and crisps all day.
He said: “All the pro-dancers eat sweets all day. They constantly eat sweets and crisps all day. Non-stop.
“Seriously, every single one of them comes in and has a handful of smarties or M&Ms, or fruit sweets.”
He continued: “That’s what they do all day long. They eat c**p. They all have terrible diets.
“It’s because they do take a lot of sugar because they want that sugar rush. That is a real shock when you see them doing it.”
Sunday Brunch continues today at 9.30am on Channel 4, while Strictly Come Dancing is expected to return to BBC One later this year.