Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James explains how he treats Strictly Come Dancing like football


David James has come in for some pretty harsh comments from the judges during his first three weeks on Strictly Come Dancing – but it’s nothing the former goalkeeper isn’t used to.

The 49-year-old encountered his fair share of criticism during his time between the sticks for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and many others.

Instead of Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson, James now gets scrutinised by Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse on the hit TV show.

David James has swapped his football boots for dancing shoes


David James has swapped his football boots for dancing shoes

“It’s a bit like football punditry,” he told talkSPORT. “If they just say non-descript words, I don’t get any real feedback. So I don’t mind them criticising me too much.

“Obviously I’d prefer them to say nice things. But it gives me something constructive to work on for the following week.”

James has plenty to work on after landing in the bottom two in week two and three – the first weeks the public were allowed to vote off a couple.

He survived both dance offs to stay in the show for week four, however, beating Olympic rower James Cracknell and TV presented Anneka Rice in successive weeks.

And while he may the bookmaker’s favourite to be eliminated this Sunday, James is still loving the ride.

“I’m enjoying it so much, even though it’s so hard,” he added. “It’s really tough learning something you’ve never done before.

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“I have to say, when I first did a solo dance, just me and Nadia, I tried to approach the whole thing a bit like football. But it doesn’t work.

“The whole day is so different, you’re in the studio for eight or nine hours before the actual live show goes on.

“Whereas in football, you turn up two-and-a-half hours before the game. So the preparation for football just doesn’t work for television.

“At the beginning, I was like, ‘What’s going to happen here?’ But the last couple of weeks, I’ve really enjoyed it, even though the judges say I don’t look like I’m enjoying it.

“Not so much getting in the dance offs, though, it has to be said.”

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