She narrowly missed out on winning Strictly six years ago and now as she returns on Christmas Day, Rachel Stevens admits she is putting herself under pressure to get the moves right in her Viennese waltz.
“It does feel a bit weird to be back,” says the 36 year old. “I’ve got a new partner, Tristan, who is taller than my previous partner Vincent Simone and I do feel the pressure a bit. I don’t like making mistakes.
“That said, it’s so much fun and the moment you sit back in the make-up chair you find yourself saying ‘sparkle me up’. It’s like you never left.
“This show is the best one and when I watch it now as a viewer, I do miss it. You get so into it. You really care about it.”
Now a mum of two, Rachel says her eldest daughter, four-year-old Amelie, is particularly excited about her return to Strictly. “She’s even been interviewed beforehand to talk about me doing it,” explains Rachel. “We will definitely be watching because she is so excited.”
Counting down the days until Christmas, which she will be spending at her sister-in-law’s, Rachel says she is totally relishing motherhood.
“I do love it,” she says. “The juggling is tough but it’s so nice and I can’t wait for Christmas. On birthdays and Christmas I do spoil my children.”
Next year is going to be a big year for Rachel as she reunites with her S Club 7 band mates for a tour. “It’s the right time,” she says. “We are all really looking forward to it.”