Ben Shephard praises ‘absolute dynamite’ Strictly star as he discloses their friendship

Ben Shephard has praised his good friend Helen Skelton for taking on a project as “life-affirming” as Strictly Come Dancing amid her marriage troubles.

The Good Morning Britain presenter, 47, has a background in dance after studying it at the University of Birmingham and said he knows firsthand how uplifting it can be.

Speaking to OK! , Ben said: “I’ve worked with Helen over the years – she’s absolute dynamite and an incredible broadcaster and an amazing mum.

"I’ve loved watching her do something as life-affirming as dancing – I know the joy you get from dancing and the endorphins.”

Despite having a degree in dance, drama and theatre arts, and being rumoured to be on the line-up each year, Ben says you won’t see him on Strictly any time soon as there is no way he could commit to what’s needed to get the very most out of the experience and insists he’d be “rubbish”.

Ben – who lives with wife Annie in Richmond along with their two sons Sam, 17, and Jack, 15 – said: “It would be incredible but intense. Everybody’s got an opinion about your rumba or your salsa. I did the salsa withShirley BallasonThe One Showthe other week and the amount of messages I got was really overwhelming!

"Everyone’s got this idea that because I’ve got a dance degree I’d be good on Strictly but I’d be rubbish. I did contemporary dance – standing at a bar and rolling around on the floor. It’s not charging across the dance floor doing a quickstep.

“Lots of my colleagues [Kate Garraway ,Susanna Reid , Robert Rinder and Ed Balls] have done it and absolutely loved it. I’ll never say never but now’s not the right time. It’s all-consuming.”

Ben’s career took a different path in 1998 when he got his big TV break launching T4 on Channel 4. He now presents GMB as well as ITV shows Tipping Point and Ninja Warrior UK, yet the knock-back still haunts him.

Ben – an ambassador of GMB’s 1 Million Minutes campaign, which aims to eradicate loneliness in the UK –admits: “I still constantly question if I’m good enough. I’m always trying to improve – that’s one of the brilliant things working alongside Susanna, Kate andRanvir [Singh]and Charlotte [Hawkins] – I feel like I’m learning all the time. Nobody is more critical of me than I am of myself.”

Watch 1 Million Minutes weekdays in Dec on GMB from 6am on ITV1 & ITV Hub

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