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Robert Webb discusses effects of open heart surgery ahead of Strictly debut

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Comedian, actor and soon-to-be Strictly Come Dancing star Robert Webb has opened up about how major heart surgery gave him the push he needed to say "yes" to doing the competition.

In a conversation with OK! and other reporters, Robert said that he'd "always been very fond of the show," but he also admitted that the open heart surgery he had nearly two years ago was a big part of why he signed up.

Robert – who had the surgery as the result of a mitral valve prolapse – explained: "Since [the surgery] I think my attitude is basically, 'This is no time to be cool and kind of sit at the edges watching the other people do the dancing. If you've got something to offer, it might be time to offer it.'"

When asked how he planned to win over the judges and the audience, Robert first said he intends to "just be himself."

However, he quickly dubbed the answer "cheesy" and joked: "Maybe, you know, I should be really milking it about having heart surgery."

He continued: "In fact, I'm gonna mention as often as possible, and I'll get my scar out. Actually, it'll be the two year anniversary of my heart surgery on Halloween.

"I had the operation on 1 November which is very close to Halloween. That would definitely be the show to wear a costume where I get my scar covered in glitter."

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Robert – who previously took part in Let's Dance for Comic Relief – confessed that he "isn't afraid of an extreme costume."

He elaborated: "I'm not afraid to show a bit of leg. Although I don't think that guys seem to get their legs out very often on this show.

"I think it's a more sedate affair. We all tend to be quite well-trousered. If it's not going to upset the ladies and gentlemen, I'm really up for more or less anything within the laws of public decency."

Robert also spoke about his Peep Show partner and good friend David Mitchell, revealing that the comedian was "absolutely delighted" to hear he was joining the Strictly Come Dancing line up.

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And, he touched on the fact that last year's winner – fellow comedian Bill Bailey – was "an inspiration" to him.

"I'll be 49 at the end of this month, so he's an inspiration in that way," he said. "Because he won it and also the idea that you can get through without permanently injuring yourself."

He then added that he "wouldn't mind" sustaining an injury on live TV if it was "funny."

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