Simon Rimmer: Sunday Brunch host makes surprising Karen Clifton Strictly admission

Simon Rimmer, 55, appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, where he was partnered with the Venezuelan star Karen Clifton, 37. The Sunday Brunch host revealed he wasn’t at all “bothered” by what the judges thought about his performance, but was more concerned about his dance partner’s opinion. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he admitted the show was a “magnificent experience” and he wanted to ensure the dancer was happy with him. He spilled: “I suppose there’s a time when you’re getting slagged off by the judges every single week, and you think give me a break.

“At the time, I was a 54-year-old bloke who’d never danced before with a dodgy knee and a snapped Achilles and arthritis in my left hip.”

He continued: “The reality of the situation is all you care about is what your pro dancer thinks. If I came off and Karen thought I’d done well and you did the best that you can do, that is who you dance for. You don’t actually dance for the judges.”

The TV chef, who took part in Strictly Come Dancing with contestants Debbie McGee, 60, and Joe McFadden, 43, felt they would have be more concerned by the panel’s views due to their background in performing arts.

Simon said: “In my year, you had Debbie and Joe, who went and won the show. They’re dancing for the judges. They want the recognition. I wasn’t that bothered actually.

“I just wanted Karen to be proud of me. That was all I cared about really. It’s just a magnificent experience. It’s joyous.”

The Channel 4 presenter said his former dance partner has become a good friend and the pair have stayed in contact since the series came to an end.

The small screen star divulged: “I’m still very much in touch with her [Karen].

“She’s a proper lass. She’s very intense. You know, all the pro-dancers are. They are 100 per cent professional and they push you. They think you can do a little bit, they want to push you to do that little bit more.”

The former Strictly star revealed he keeps in touch with his co-stars on the show, including Gemma Atkinson and Debbie.

He said: “I speak to Gemma a lot. She lives in Manchester so we speak a lot. I spoke to Debbie McGee the other week and I speak to Richard Coles quite a bit.

“Aston [Merrygold], he and I have been trying to go out for a beer for the last six months and still haven’t managed it. So yeah, I’m pretty friendly with a good group of them.”

Meanwhile, Simon who presents Sunday Brunch alongside his co-star Tim Lovejoy, has opened up about a major show blunder which left him with an oven of “raw fish”.

The TV chef revealed he was cooking seabass for their guests before he made an error of judgement and served it uncooked.

He spilled: “Years ago we had Ricky Gervais on the show and we was cooking seabass baked in salt. You know a proper classic dish.

“Unbeknownst to me, the electrics had failed on the oven. So the seabass hadn’t cooked and I literally opened the door [of the oven] and I knew straight away. There was no heat.”

“All I had was raw seabass with salt that hadn’t baked. All we had was a whole raw fish. That was it,” he mused.

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