Stunning presenter Rachel Riley has danced her way into the third week of Strictly Come Dancing – and her success is apparently down to her penchant for “smoked salmon bagels”, writes Francine Wolfisz.

Strictly Come Dancing

“I’m having a smoked salmon bagel in the mornings, if I can get away with it!”, confessed Countdown’s Rachel Riley.

The blonde 27-year-old, best known for co-hosting Countdown and The Gadget Show, wowed the judges in her bright tangerine, backless mini-dress, when she performed a Latin number with partner Pasha Kova.

While her show-stopping looks and glamorous costumes added up to a perfect formula for the Jewish maths whizz, the panel were less easily impressed by her moves on the dancefloor.

Judge Darcey Bussell told her: “There’s lots of sugar, but not a lot of spice,” Meanwhile Len Goodman commented: “I thought you were working your assets quite a bit out there, shaking your thing. You’ve just got to have a little more precision and attack.”

Riley told the Jewish News that she is the “complete opposite” of a natural dancer, adding: “Pascha is having to teach me every millimetre of what I should be doing.”

The pair have been getting in as many as nine hours training on some days, but practice aside, the recently-married presenter revealed her top weapon in winning the dance competition.

“I’m having a smoked salmon beigel in the mornings, if I can get away with it!”, she confessed. “Meanwhile Pasha is something of a chocaholic – the biggest one I’ve ever met actually!”

She added: “There’s so many dances I want to try. It’s been so fun working with Pasha and I’m loving the training. I just want to carry on and do that for as long as possible.”

* Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday, 6.30pm, BBC 1.