Ed "disco" Balls helps Strictly draw record audience

Lynsey Barber
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'Strictly Come Dancing 2016' -  Red Carpet Launch
Balls on the dancefloor was a hit with audiences (Source: Getty)

Who wants to watch Ed Balls dad dancing around a disco floor? A lot of people, it turns out.

The much-hyped appearance of the former Labour shadow chancellor on Strictly Come Dancing helped the BBC draw in a record number of viewers to the show for a series debut.

The 14th series of the popular Saturday night show landed 10.1m viewers at its peak and and average of 9.3m. That compares to 8.7m for last season's opening episode.

Read more: Ed Balls' Strictly worries: "My hips don't move in quite the right way"

That also compares to ITV's standard Saturday night fodder X Factor opened with just 6.8m viewers last week, its lowest opening in a decade, however, that grew to 8.3m on average yesterday with a peak of 9.2m.

Despite protesting that he wasn't' quite sure his hips move the right way to be able to do the jive he certainly gave it a go.

If you missed it, here's a little taster....

Even Yvette Cooper (his wife, Labour MP and former Labour leader contender), took to Twitter to chat about the appearance which had political journalists across the country glued to the TV screen.

And while Balls has been keeping himself busy since losing his seat as an MP in last year's General Election (teaching at Harvard, writing his memoirs, becoming chairman of Norwich football club), a week's a long time in politics, but clearly outside the Westminster bubble a year's not that long as someone asked who's looking after his constituency.

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