Strictly’s Janette Manrara shares the gift Zoe Ball bought her for It Takes Two gig

Janette Manrara has been a Strictly Come Dancing stalwart since joining the show for series 11 back in 2013, partnering a celebrity every year, and reaching the final in 2020 alongside rising star HRVY.

But Cuban-American Janette, who joined the show in the same year as her Slovenian husband Aljaz Skorjanec, made the brave move to hang up her dancing shoes this year, when the chance came to replace Radio 2 breakfast show host Zoe Ball on the contest's weekday sister show, It Takes Two.

And as she recorded a Strictly-themed episode of The Weakest Link – which returns with a new host in Romesh Ranganathan on the day Strictly's series final airs – Janette revealed that Zoe helped celebrated her new role with a very fitting gift.

Asked if she had advice for Romesh, who has replaced The Weakest Link's the show's original host Anne Robinson, she said: "I would say just keep in touch. Zoe and I text all the time."

Janette then revealed that she and her predecessor discuss onscreen wardrobes, and admitted that Zoe made a lovely gesture as she walked away from the show.

"She got me a really beautiful pair of shoes to congratulate me," Janette revealed. "I just think keep in touch because they know what they are talking about they can always give you good advice."

And of course Zoe knows all about stepping into someone else's shoes, having taken over It Takes Two when Claudia Winkleman walked away.

Zoe had joined the Strictly family a couple of years before and co-host the Sunday results show with Tess Daly in 2010, having filled in for a poorly Sir Bruce Forsyth on the Saturday night show a year prior.

Now that Janette has her feet under the table at It Takes Two – possibly clad in Zoe's gifted footwear – the professional dancer said she's having a (glitter) ball.

"I am in love with It Takes Two, I look forward to the shows so much," Janette continued. "Doing Morning Live in the mornings as well has been amazing but It Takes Two is something I’ve always thought ‘Oh I would love to do that someday’ so I’m still pinching myself that I’m the host of the show."

And now she's part of the presenting team, Janette can't talk about who she thinks will lift the iconic trophy this year – or who she'd like to see triumph.

She added: "Ahh I’m not allowed favourites as the It Takes Two host. I can’t have favourites so we’ll see but I think it’s one of those series that like anybody can take it this year.

"I’m glued every Saturday watching, well I’m there every Saturday and sit behind the scenes watching live!"

The celebrity Weakest Link players are all hoping to raise funds for a particular cause, and for Janette that was Starlight Children’s Foundation.

"I’ve been an ambassador for them for a few years now," she explained. "And they really just make so many children happy at a time when it can be really tough for them, so hopefully I can win some money for the charity."

But when it came to recording the quiz show, Janette admitted that fancy footwork couldn't cover for a lack of knowledge, and reckoned that her chances of doing well very much depended on the subjects she was asked about.

"I feel like anything Disney related I will absolutely smash, obviously anything Strictly Come Dancing related I will also do well in. Anything else I will be awful!" she admitted.

The Weakest Link returns on start on Saturday 18 December at 6.10pm on BBC One. For more TV gossip, sign up to OK! newsletters here.

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