LAST time he was in Scotland, Mike Bushell was diving headfirst into a giant inflatable ring and launching himself across an ice rink, Olympic superstar Eve Muirhead in hot pursuit.

After the dubious ‘joys’ of human curling, some sequinned sashaying in front of hundreds of noisy Glaswegians and the strict Strictly Come Dancing judges should be easy peasy, surely?

“I’m not sure it will be easy but I am really looking forward to it,” smiles the affable BBC Sports presenter. “And I have heard the Glasgow audiences are always the loudest….”

Glasgow Times:

Self-confessed former dad dancer and all-round nice bloke Mike joins his Strictly professional partner Katya Jones – they made it to week eight on the TV show – for the magnificent Strictly Live tour which comes to the SSE Hydro this week.

“It is nerve-wracking, dancing in front of huge crowds, but the buzz is brilliant,” he says. “Doing the TV show was amazing but the tour takes the Strictly experience to another level. There is less pressure on you, because you are not having to learn a new dance every night, there is no elimination and because the public vote at each performance, it means any one of us could win.”

(This last statement is more hopeful than realistic, he admits, given that series winner Kelvin Fletcher who romped to victory with Oti Mabuse, has won every single performance on the tour so far with his new partner Janette Manrara.)

Strictly audiences love a journey, and Mike was a firm favourite with last year’s viewers.

“It was hard work,” he admits. “I lost a stone and a half .When I did the paso doble, I danced for 30 seconds on my own – I would never have been able to do that at the start, and that’s down to hard work and Katya’s brilliant coaching. But I had to push myself right out of my comfort zone.”

Being outside his comfort zone is nothing new to Mike, who has tried out more than 450 sports and activities as part of his Saturday morning slot on BBC Breakfast.

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“It has been a passion of mine for the last 15 years and more, that sport should be for all,” he says. “I want to help people find different sports they can try and enjoy without feeling alienated or self-conscious.”

So far, Mike has tried everything from ultimate frisbee to rocket ball, introducing each activity from the point of view of a complete beginner.

“It’s loads of fun and hopefully it inspires people too,” he says.

Glasgow Times:

Although he had no dance experience before joining Strictly, Mike did love acting.

“I was a shy teenager, and when one of my teachers suggested I try acting, it changed my life,” he says, adding self-deprecatingly. “I wasn’t very good at it so I never made any money. I decided to try journalism instead.”

Mike’s daughter Izzy recently surprised him with a video blog of his Strictly journey. It’s a funny and emotional tribute to her dad, covering everything from his early training sessions in the garden – “yes, I really did dance with Ernest the garden gnome,” he laughs – to the moment he was voted out of the show.

“I had no idea – it was really lovely of her to do it,” he says, clearly touched. “Strictly is the best show in the world and I feel privileged to have been a part of it.”

Strictly Come Dancing UK Arena Tour will be at the SSE Hydro on Saturday and Sunday (February 1 and 2).