Scottish actor Joe McFadden has spoken out about rumours of romance on the set of Strictly Come Dancing – claiming he simply doesn’t have time.
After Joe was spotted backstage looking cosy with The Saturdays singer, Mollie King, rumours began to swirl about the pair.
It’s not the first rumoured romance on this season of the show – stories of a fling between Emmerdale’s Gemma Atkinson and pro dancer, Gorka Marquez – who is partnered with singer Alexandra Burke have been circulating for some time.
But Joe has confessed himself surprised by the rumours, saying he doesn’t see how anyone competing on the show has the time for romance.
Speaking to the Daily Record, the actor said, “I don’t know when anyone would have the time for romance, to be perfectly honest.
“I get home at night and I’m exhausted,” he continued. “All I can do is get myself something to eat and then fall into bed. Sometimes I have time for a hot bath, but that’s about it. I can’t imagine having the energy for anything else.”
Joe speculated that his experience on the show might help with romance in the future, though: “Maybe I’ll unleash my new dance moves on the local nightclub at Christmastime and see what happens.”
The Holby City actor insisted that the rumours about him and Mollie were absurd: “The Mollie King report was ridiculous. Just because we were stood rehearsing a dance one day, a certain newspaper decided that we must be together.
“I found it very flattering that anyone would even entertain that idea but it’s absolute nonsense. Nope, that’s not on the cards for me on this show – certainly not.”
He said that for now, he’s happy to be single, and concentrating on work.
“I don’t know why I’m single. I must be unlovable, I don’t know. Who knows?” the actor said.
“Maybe I work too hard. “I’ve not been in a relationship in recent times. No, I’ve been working very hard in Holby and committing my time to that.”
When it comes to Strictly, Joe is hoping to stick around for a few weeks more. He’s set to celebrate his 42nd birthday tomorrow, and doesn’t want any untimely eliminations interfering with it.
“My birthday’s on Monday and I really don’t have any plans,” he said. “I’m just hoping I’m celebrating still being on the show. That would be the perfect birthday present from the judges – but we’ll see.”
The actor was disappointed to see his Holby City co-star Chizzy Akudolu go home last week. “Chizzy was first and that’s a hard position to fill because we all really get on,” he said.
“Someone said the other day that you’d be happy to sit beside anyone here at a dinner party, and it’s so true. That’s why it was so tough last Saturday losing Chizzy. She’d really become a big part of the group and I obviously already knew her from Holby.
“When someone goes, it really rocks everyone and you feel the loss. It was all fun and games until that point when they are sending someone home, and then it gets very real. The bottom two’s not a position anyone wants to be in.”
Joe also spoke about getting some helpful advice from a former contestant – last year’s surprise favourite, Ed Balls, who danced with Joe’s partner, Katya Jones.
Ed came to rehearsals during our first week, because we thought it would be useful to have some input,” he said. “He was really encouraging and gave me some tips about doing the show.
“It wasn’t so much dancing tips but more about performance. I mean, he’s such a good performer and so committed. He really threw himself into his performances last year.
“The thing I picked up from him was not to be half-hearted about it, to really go for it. Ed said the audience are really behind you, so play to them, let the cameras find you. It was really good advice and the sort of thing you only realise when you’ve done it. He gave me some useful tips.”
While Joe is keen to stay in the competition for as long as possible, he doesn’t yet have his eyes on the final prize.
“I’m really not thinking that far ahead,” he said. “Certain dances you enjoy more than others, so if you get the wrong dance on the wrong day then you’re going home.”