Inside the box: Strictly stressed Victoria Pendleton in tears over Strictly Come Dancing
00:20 GMT, 28 September 2012
Her determination saw her win two Olympic gold medals during a glittering cycling career.
But it seems Victoria Pendleton has met her match in Strictly Come Dancing’s equally ambitious professional Brendan Cole.
I’m told the pair’s training sessions have become so intense that ‘Queen Vic’ has broken down in tears on more than one occasion.
In tears: Victoria Pendleton, left, has met her match with professional dancer Brendan Cole, right, and has broken down on more than one occasion during training sessions
‘Brendan has been pushing Victoria to the limit. Her body is in a delicate condition so soon after the Olympics. She has not been able to help crying at least twice.
‘Their rivals are aware of what’s going on and are trying to support her,’ my Strictly source reveals. Kiwi Brendan is notoriously tough on his partners, who have been known to despise his regime and lack of good humour. His partnerships with TV presenter Fiona Phillips and singer Lulu were particularly frosty.
Victoria, 32, has openly cautioned Brendan, 36, and Strictly bosses that she’s coping with inflammation in her spinal joints as a result of her Olympic regime.
‘Having a bad back can make hours and hours of dance training excruciating,’ my show insider adds. ‘Victoria’s desperate to perform well but she doesn’t want to do herself any long-term damage. Brendan is pretty uncompromising because he knows this is his best chance of winning again.’ Earlier this week she admitted she had been ‘hobbling around’ after two weeks in high heels.
But she remains a favourite, along with fellow Olympian Louis Smith and West End star Denise Van Outen, to win the show, which begins next weekend.
A source close to Simon Cowell, right,
reveals he is ‘devastated with himself’ after letting U.S. superstars
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj join American Idol.
‘He held discussions with both of
them about joining U.S. X Factor but he didn’t go through with it. He’s
kicking himself now because they could help keep rival show Idol
alive,’ the pal says.
Cowell is also continuing with an
unlikely plan to avoid using his own mobile phones after suffering a
self-described ‘breakdown’ earlier in the year.
‘Some close associates haven’t heard from him directly in months,’ the friend adds.
More than 15 years after she gave up her Baywatch swimsuit, Pamela Anderson (right) may don spandex again.
Pamela, 45, is being pursued by ITV to join the Dancing On Ice line-up.
‘She’s expected in the UK for a pantomime and we’re desperate to sign her,’ a source tells me. ‘She’s an intriguing character and would get people tuning in.’ The show needs a boost after audiences slumped owing to a lacklustre cast and the axeing of controversial judge Jason Gardiner.
But let’s hope Pammy has better luck than she did this week on Dancing With The Stars, the U.S. answer to Strictly. She was voted off after just one dance.
Don the spandex: Pamela Anderson may don the Baywatch swimsuit again, more than 15 years after she gave it up
Mica Paris is furious she hasn’t been asked to be a judge on a TV talent show like BBC1’s The Voice.
The soul diva, 43, who is recording a new album and singing in the Viva La Diva festival at Boisdale of Canary Wharf tomorrow, says: ‘I’d love to judge on those shows, especially The Voice. But it’s sexist. The male judges are all older.
‘They need to get a grip and hire a female who isn’t just there as bubblegum.
‘In TV and music, people hire their friends. They are obsessed with who’s current. It’s all about, “She’s got a hit right now so let’s get her”.’