Ed Balls has admitted his children have compared his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing to a “camp rugby player”.

The admission came as the former Labour MP took a few tips on his dancefloor style from another political star of the BBC1 show, ex-business secretary Sir Vince Cable.

Sir Vince – a keen ballroom dancer who scored highly in his appearance on the 2010 Christmas edition of Strictly – told Balls he had a natural posture for the dancefloor.

Ed Balls and Sir Vince Cable in 2012 (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Images)

But a rueful Balls responded: “The problem is when you start moving and it kind of hunches up and I start to look a bit `rugby player’. I said to my children that I thought I looked like a rugby player and they said `a camp rugby player’, which is a slightly odd look.”

The impromptu lesson happened as the pair appeared on BBC2′s Daily Politics and presenter Jo Coburn asked Sir Vince to help Balls perfect his ballroom pose.

Using Coburn as his partner, Balls took advice from his former Lib Dem adversary, who told him to “stretch right through your system… imagine somebody is pulling your head up… keep straight, turn your hand a little bit out”.

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Pulling Jo closer to him, Balls joked: “Get yourself in – we’ve got to get physical. This is the closest you have ever got to me and me to you. It’s actually rather exciting!”

Sir Vince was complimentary after the brief lesson, telling Balls: “Your posture is actually naturally better than a lot of people’s – better than mine.”