Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty channels The Greatest Showman star Hugh Jackman as he performs on stage in Strictly Come Dancing with professional Katya Jones
Strictly Come Dancing dancer Katya Jones’s punishing training is not the only thing motivating swimmer Adam Peaty to succeed.
The single-minded Olympic champ is being inspired by the smash hit musical film The Greatest Showman.
He is particularly impressed by Australian heartthrob Hugh Jackman, who plays circus impresario PT Barnum. He said: “He’s my inspiration in every dance.”
Last night Adam, 26, and Katya, 32, danced a rumba to I See You from the film Avatar for movie week.
After week two dances, they were joint seventh on the Strictly leaderboard alongside comedian Judi Love, 41, and Graziano Di Prima, 27.
Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
The dedicated athlete triumphed in Tokyo during the summer. He became the first Brit swimmer to defend an Olympic title by winning 100m breaststroke gold.
He won a second gold in the mixed 4x100m medley relay and a silver in the men’s 4x100m medley. And Adam, whose swim coach cracks the whip, was not expecting an easy ride with Katya’s tough daily dance rehearsals.
He said: “I always knew how strict Katya was. I thought six hours a day was going to be enough but clearly not – we’ve been doing double that.
Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
“I’ve had a female coach for 12 years who’s pretty tough though, so I’m used to it.”
His schedule meant that Adam, who lives with partner Eiri Munro, 23, had to celebrate his son George-Anderson’s first birthday in September, a day late.
Adam, who has an MBE, explained: “We were filming that day. We wrapped at 10.30pm so I drove straight home, ready to celebrate the next day.
“It didn’t go down too well but that’s the difficult thing when you do this. Everyone has to understand.”
Despite his sporting background, he said Strictly was a big challenge.
He said: “I’m used to performing but Strictly is completely different. I usually don’t have to rely on anyone else.”
He said Eiri had encouraged him to take part. He said: “She wanted me to be challenged and she knew if she supported it, it would make it easier for me. I’ve got the kind of mindset where if I want to do something, I’ll do it.”
Getty Images for The National Lottery)
Katya joked she was definitely giving Adam’s Olympic coaches a run for their money.
She said: “When I said we’d be training for 12 hours he thought I meant per week. But I was like, ‘No, every day!’.”
She admitted that as a coach she doesn’t know when to switch off: “I’m always my own inspiration but I also get so excited to take these guys on their journey on the show every year.
“I’ll stop sleeping now. That’s it! My mind is like an engine that’s running 24/7.”
Adam said learning to dance is “like a game of Tetris”.
He added: “You’ve got to know where to put all the pieces.”
The star, who both Anton Du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood have described as one of the most competitive Strictly has ever seen, has always liked to challenge himself.
He said: “If you’re in your comfort zone for your whole life, you’re not really living. For me to live, I need to be uncomfortable and learn new things.”