Greg Rutherford says his girlfriend is not worried about the so-called “curse of Strictly”.

The relationships and marriages of several contestants have fallen apart while appearing on Strictly Come Dancing over the years.

But long-jump star Greg, 29, who is partnered with Natalie Lowe, told the Daily Mirror the history of broken romances doesn’t bother Susie Verrill.

Greg Rutherford (Jay Brooks/BBC)

“The thing she keeps saying to me is ‘When I watch you dance I want it to look really sexy’,” the Olympic gold medal winner said.

“She says ‘I want you to really go for it’. She wants it to look like there’s serious chemistry. She actively encourages me to make it as sexy as possible.

“I’m like ‘okay, fine!’”

Greg previously told how he tried to leave Strictly after suffering a crisis of confidence, but Natalie hauled him back into the studio.

Meanwhile, Ed Balls has been told to cheer up and “look as if he is enjoying himself a bit more” by his Strictly predecessor Ann Widdecombe.

Ed Balls (Guy Levy/BBC)

She told the Guardian that Ed’s performance in the waltz had been much better than her own “but at least I looked as if I was enjoying it”.