Winning

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He is expecting his first child with long-term girlfriend Sarah Lou Richards, and Aston Merrygold is defiant that he won't fall victim to the infamous 'Strictly curse'.

The 29-year-old entertainer is taking part in the 15th series of the BBC ballroom show hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, but Richards has nothing to worry about in regards to his professional relationship with dance partner Janette Manrara.

Merrygold – who shot to stardom on The X factor in 2008 – has revealed he rejected sex five times a day during his time in popular boyband JLS.

He said: "I lived every 21-year-old man's dream and was having the time of my life. That's the only way I could put it. I got offered sex at least five times a day.

"We couldn't walk anywhere because we would have girls throwing themselves at us,'' The Sun reports.

Merrygold was required to get up close and personal with female dancers to film a series of provocative music videos while in JLS – who enjoyed five UK number one singles and sold more than 10m records worldwide.

He is applying his past mindset to his routines with pro dancer Manrara, and that five and a half months pregnant Richards has nothing to be anxious about.

aston merrygold
Aston Merrygold with dance partner Janette Manrara BBC

Merrygold even claims that his girlfriend encouraged him to have a passionate dance relationship with his dance partner. ''Sarah tells me to go all the way. She says whatever they ask me to do, do it because it's Strictly,'' he continued.

The performer impressed the judges with his neon festival-themed salsa to the popular song Despacito on last night's show, and is currently the bookies' favourite. The routine involved so many lifts that Manrara's feet barely touched the floor, scoring 32 points in the second week – one point up from the first week.

An average of 9.3m viewers tuned in to see Strictly, with a peak audience of 10.2m, holding on to the impressive figures from last week. ITV's X Factor failed to amass the same viewing figures, bagging 4.9m viewers on average, peaking to 5.8m according to statistics from overnight data.