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Louis has been frustrating his dance partner Flavia. File picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Strictly’s Louis Smith needs regular rests after the Olympics

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
7.55 AM

Strictly Come Dancing’s Louis Smith needs a lie down every quarter of an hour during rehearsals.

His dance partner Flavia Cacace has grumbled that the gymnast is unable to concentrate during their practice sessions for the show and she has to act like his mother to keep him in check.

Smith, 23, said he needed regular rests because he is carrying a number of injuries which affected him during the Olympics.

In an interview with the Radio Times, he said: “People think that because I went to the Olympics I am superhuman, but I have a torn cartilage in my knee that needs an operation, a fractured ulna and swollen vertebrae in my back.

“So every 15 minutes I’ll have a lie down for five minutes.”

Cacace said: “I was in shock when he first curled up on the floor, pulled his hoodie over his head and asked me to give him five minutes in the middle of training.”

The silver medal-winning star is accompanied to training by his mother Elaine, who also brings him his lunch most days, but the dance pro said it means both of them are able to drag him off the floor to get him dancing again.

Cacace said Smith needed other people to drive him on because he lacks motivation. The gymnast was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was a child.

Cacace told the new edition of Radio Times: “Unlike other sportsmen, Louis doesn’t push himself - he needs someone to do it for him.

“During training he’ll start playing with the air-conditioning unit, check Twitter or stare out of the window. I feel a bit like his mum.”