Anita Rani’s Strictly co-star admits regrets over their partnership

Anita Rani discusses her new book ‘The Right Sort of Girl’

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Gleb Savchenko, 39, admitted in a recent interview that he was too hard on Countryfile’s Anita Rani, 44, during their time on Strictly Come Dancing. Although the pair reached the semi-final, Gleb has now spoken out about his regrets and what he would do differently if he got a chance to compete on the show with the presenter again.

Should’ve given her a little break!

Gleb Savchenko

Gleb joined the hit BBC show as a professional dancer in 2015 and was paired with BBC star Anita.

The couple reached the semi-finals and finished in fifth place, with Gleb announcing the following year that he would not be returning to Strictly.

He is currently a professional dancer on the US version, Dancing With the Stars, but has been left with important lessons from his Strictly stint.

Discussing working with Anita and what he would do differently, Gleb told “We kind of had fun but it was more about okay ‘boom, boom go’.

“My schedule with Anita was 9 to 6 so every time we’d come in we’d do a little bit of warm up, 9.30 we started learning and by like 1 we’d have an hour break for lunch and 2 to 6 we’d rehearse and I remember we were so exhausted at some points but I was like ‘no we have to do it’.

“For her it was good because she actually improved, if you look at Week One and to the semi-final she actually killed it but if I look back at it, I should’ve given her a little break, I should’ve had a little bit more fun.”

Gleb admitted he “should’ve done it differently” and that now, due to having more experience, he would “take it easy”.

He concluded: “Let’s just pace ourselves because it’s not a race, it’s a marathon.

“The healthiest with no injuries will make it to the end. Sometimes we have a week like this where we have an amazing week and I’m sure there will be weeks where the judges will be like ‘that wasn’t my favourite’ because that’s part of the process, it’s just what naturally happens.”

This comes as Anita told the Radio Times that there were moments throughout her career where she suspects things could have taken a different direction if she was “blonde-haired and blue-eyed”.

She shared: “I still find myself wondering whether I would have got into the final if I didn’t have a brown face.

“There are various points in my career where I wonder what would have happened if I was blonde-haired and blue-eyed, and sometimes I don’t think things would have played out the same way if I was white.

“I’ve put that Strictly question into my book to leave people pondering, because I’m just not sure.”

However, Anita previously called 2015 her “magic year” due to her success on the dance show and her appearance on Who Do You Think You Are?.

She told the Metro: “It took me to a whole new level.

“And now I’m in this position as pretty much the only Asian woman making the sorts of programmes that I do in a wonderful landscape of female presenters, but the only brown one there, and I’m owning it.”

You can watch Anita Rani this evening on Countryfile at 5.15pm ob BBC One

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