Ben Fogle spills all on why he backed out of Strictly ‘Couldn’t bear the shame!’

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Strictly Come Dancing fans shouldn’t expect to see Ben Fogle putting on his dancing shoes any time soon as he opened up in a recent interview on the “shame” of potentially signing up. The presenter revealed he very nearly became part of the line-up but was forced to change his mind when his family discovered his plans. 

Every year Strictly fans are desperate to find out which celebrities will be taking to the dance floor.

However, some may be disappointed to learn Ben backed out of signing up when his children found out. 

The presenter was quizzed on whether his two kids critiqued his latest children’s book. 

He explained: “My two, Ludo and Iona, have been pretty supportive.

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“But they will tell me if I’ve done something they don’t like or if they’re embarrassed by something, for sure. 

“I was very close to doing Strictly last year but they were absolutely adamant it would be the most embarrassing thing that had ever happened to them in their lives. 

“So it didn’t happen because they are my harshest critics and I couldn’t bear the shame of it all,” told

Last years Strictly saw Oti Mabuse win for a second year in a row with comedian Bill Bailey. 

Although he declined Strictly last year, his Mr Dog book series has been keeping him busy. 

The presenter revealed the inspiration for the series came from his father’s veterinary clinic. 

Ben admitted he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps but didn’t receive the grades required to go into that field. 

The presenter spends his time visiting far-flung locations and pushing himself to his limits.  

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In his latest documentary for Channel 5, Ben toured the abandoned city of Pripyat.

Inside Chernobyl saw Ben list the hospital where many of the first casualties were treated.

The brave presenter stood amongst abandoned bandages and equipment that were still radioactive. 

Ben spent a week living alone inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone 35 years after the world’s worst nuclear accident. 

Discussing the project, he said: “What I took away was actually a huge amount of hope and optimism, which I think surprised me and hopefully will surprise the viewers.

“It is depressing because you see how one simple mistake cost so many people’s livelihoods and homes and dreams and lives. So, that was depressing. But actually, the more time I spent there – which I think is symbolic of everything in life – the more I uncovered the hopeful side of things.”

It’s kind of interesting that actually, it wasn’t just the radiation that killed people. It was depression and there were lots of parallels with COVID obviously right now,” he told

“I think there’s a great irony that many people who were evacuated died of broken hearts. They died of depression. They died from the misery of being taken from their homes and the place that they loved to go and live in high rise buildings in faraway places where they had no jobs and family.”

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year. Inside Chernobyl with Ben Fogle is available on-demand on My5.

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