He stunned Strictly Come Dancing viewers with an over-the-top cowboy-themed American Smooth that left some fearing for the safety of his dance partner Katya Jones.

But Mike Bushell has revealed that in his early teens he was shy and needed encouragement to step out in front of the camera.

Then, aged 15, a teacher encouraged him to play the role of Willy Mossop in a production of the Harold Brighouse play Hobson’s Choice

Mike Bushell, 53, stunned Strictly Come Dancing viewers with an over-the-top cowboy-themed American Smooth that left some fearing for the safety of his dance partner Katya Jones

Mike Bushell, 53, stunned Strictly Come Dancing viewers with an over-the-top cowboy-themed American Smooth that left some fearing for the safety of his dance partner Katya Jones

Mike Bushell, 53, stunned Strictly Come Dancing viewers with an over-the-top cowboy-themed American Smooth that left some fearing for the safety of his dance partner Katya Jones

Bushell can be seen  as a sixth-former in 1985, sitting cross- legged on his bed dressed like a hippie with a tie around his head taming his curly locks

Bushell can be seen  as a sixth-former in 1985, sitting cross- legged on his bed dressed like a hippie with a tie around his head taming his curly locks

Bushell can be seen  as a sixth-former in 1985, sitting cross- legged on his bed dressed like a hippie with a tie around his head taming his curly locks

Another photo of Bushell shows him in 1988 when he was paid £5 a night to play a Roman centurion for the tourist board in Winchester

Another photo of Bushell shows him in 1988 when he was paid £5 a night to play a Roman centurion for the tourist board in Winchester

Another photo of Bushell shows him in 1988 when he was paid £5 a night to play a Roman centurion for the tourist board in Winchester

‘That changed my life as I got into the National Youth Theatre and decided to study drama at university,’ said the BBC sports presenter, 53.

And as these pictures demonstrate, he soon turned out to be a natural in front of the camera.

One shows him as a sixth-former in 1985, sitting cross- legged on his bed dressed like a hippie with a tie around his head taming his curly locks.

Another photo of Bushell — who did a degree in drama and TV at King Alfred’s College in Winchester — shows him in 1988 when he was paid £5 a night to play a Roman centurion for the tourist board in the city.

And in a shot from his wedding day in May, he and his second wife Emily are seen riding a pink tandem.

The father-of-three revealed he has lost almost a stone since he started dancing and said Mrs Bushell, 39, was enjoying Miss Jones’s ‘daring’ routines.

He added: ‘We have a unique role. Emily’s been to rehearsals and she realised Katya is the best choreographer, the most dramatic, with daring ideas.’

He said tonight’s Cha-cha-cha to the Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men would be ‘a bit more raunchy but it’s a family show so there will be no stripping’. 

In a shot from his wedding day in May, he and his second wife Emily are seen riding a pink tandem

In a shot from his wedding day in May, he and his second wife Emily are seen riding a pink tandem

In a shot from his wedding day in May, he and his second wife Emily are seen riding a pink tandem

Source : Mail Online

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