Strictly Come dancing star Daisy Lowe has dedicated her appearance on the BBC1 talent show to her late grandfather, who died on the day rehearsals began,

After being told her beloved grandfather Eddie Davis had passed away of a heart attack, the Jewish model told The Mirror: ‘I’m going to be ­dancing for him. I’d quite like to dance to some of his favourite songs, too. He was so excited about me doing the show,”

She added: ‘It was pretty tough and thank God I had Louise Redknapp there. She made it all better.”

The 27-year-old announced her loss on Instagram, where she posted a touching family photograph, along with the caption: ‘Today I lost the most important man in my life… My gramps. He was such a treasure, my greatest teacher. I miss you so much already grampy – thank you for being everything.’

Strictly Come Dancing launched with a record 9.3 million viewers on Saturday night – the biggest audience yet for its launch show.

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Model dancer: Daisy Lowe

The opener – which saw celebrities and dancers discover who they are paired with – attracted an average of 9.3 million viewers (46.4 % share) and a peak of 10.1 million.

Viewers saw Ed Balls paired up with a “fierce and fabulous” new Russian dancer in the BBC1 show, Daisy Lowe with previous victor Aljaz Skorjanec and presenter Laura Whitmore with newly single Giovanni Pernice.

The figures are 600,000 up on last year, when an average of 8.7 million tuned in. The 14th series of the ballroom dancing show, which beat The X Factor in the ratings last year, goes live in three weeks.