Dunwoody "done goody'' says judge Len

SUFFOLK's former champion jockey Richard Dunwoody gets praise from Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman

Laurence Cawley

SUFFOLK'S Strictly Come Dancing star Richard Dunwoody tonight brought renewed confidence as he wowed the audience - if not all the judges - with his improved footwork.

As well as intensive training since his appearance on the BBC show last weekend, the former champion jockey - who was brought up in Newmarket - has taken his 31-year-old dance partner Lilia Kopylova riding in London.

Tonight he danced the waltz and scored 19 out of forty.

Judges gave him mixed views, but head pundit Len Goodman said: “Richard Done-goody!”

Those close to him say he has come on leaps and bounds during week and they are hoping the 45-year-old can relax and enjoy his dancing for this weekend's individual performances.

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His spokeswoman Liz Ampairee said: “He had a really good few training days and Lili was really pleased with him.

“He has started to feel more confident. It is something totally out of his comfort zone and like everybody else he feels nervous.

“He said it was ridiculous to feel nervous, but it is all about what happens on tonight. It is whether he can relax and enjoy it. He's probably not going to get any high scores, but he can dance and if he can relax and enjoy it he will do well.

“He takes everything really seriously and he gives 100% to everything he does. I just want him to enjoy this.

“He and Lili have a lot of respect for each other. He took her horse riding and she really liked it and said she wanted to take riding up after the show.”

Mr Dunwoody's involvement in the show comes just weeks after he successfully completed one of the world's toughest challenges. From his base at Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket, he walked a mile every hour until he had completed 1,000 miles. The endurance feat meant he got no more than one hour and 40 minutes of sleep at a time - over a 42-day period.

Then he went to Mongolia for three weeks and went straight into training for Strictly on his return.

This weekend the contestants have to tackle a tango or whip up a waltz to earn the public your votes and impress the show's four judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Alesha Dixon.

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