Kate Garraway jokes Ben Shephard’s wife will only let him do Strictly if he piles on weight to stop people fancying him

KATE Garraway joked Ben Shephard's wife will only allow him to take part in Strictly if he piles on the pounds.

The handsome broadcaster has often been linked to the glitzy entertainment show but is yet to take to the dance floor.

During today's Good Morning Britain the hosts discussed former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith taking part this year, but the conversation awkwardly shifted to Ben.

Political commentator Iain Dale revealed his sister had messaged him fawning over Ben.

He said: "I've just had a message on my screen from sister, Sheena, which read 'mmmm Ben'.What does that mean?"

As Ben blushed, Kate joked: "It's because you're so swoony that your wife won't let you do it [Strictly] will she?

He sheepishly said: "Something like that."

"Me and Ranvir were saying she would be, if you just let yourself go," continued Kate.

Ranvir chipped in: "Put on a bit of weight."

Ben continued: "Eat some Pringles….Look this isn't about me.

Last month Ben admitted that he is desperate to do Strictly – but wife Annie "doesn't want him to have an affair".

Annie has banned her famous husband from taking part on the BBC One dance show due to the infamous Strictly Curse, with several stars splitting from their partners after signing up.

Andi Peters spoke to 45-year-old Ben on Lorraine, where he asked the TV presenter if he'd be showing off his footwork this year.

Ben replied: "Andi, I would love to do Strictly. As you know, I spent three years in university learning to dance, I have a degree in dance – it doesn't make me a good dancer, obviously.

"But my wife really doesn't want me to do Strictly, I've spoken about it very publicly, but she's not interested in me having an affair."

He joked: "I think she's being very narrow-minded and it could be a great opportunity, who knows what could happen?

"It would be an amazing experience, I love a bit of spangle and glamour on a Saturday night… As things stand though, that's a negotiation that needs to happen between the BBC and my wife."

He then added: "I can get myself into a lot of trouble here."

Ben and Annie tied the knot in 2004 and have two children together, 15-year-old Jack and 13-year-old Sam.

This is not the first time that Ben has opened up about Annie's Strictly ban, with the star repeatedly making it clear that while he is keen to take part, Annie needs persuading.

The "curse" is a phenomenon that has hit some celebrities and their dance partners during their time on Strictly Come Dancing.

Due to the harsh schedules, sexy dance moves and close quarters with their partners, their off-screen romances sometimes suffer as a result.

Strictly became regarded as "cursed" after a series of very public break-ups from show participants – and ever since, more and more fan favourites have succumbed.

Over the course of 17 series of the BBC favourite, nearly a dozen couples have split up thanks to their time on the show – and many of the stars went on to shack up with their professional dance partner.

Stacey Dooley, Seann Walsh, Louise Redknapp, Ben Cohen, Rachel Riley, and Georgia May Foote are among the names to have fallen victim to the Strictly Curse so far.

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