Jason Manford claims Catherine Tyldesley broke 'Strictly' secrecy rule

Julia Hunt
Catherine Tyldesley attends the British Soap Awards at Hackney Empire on May 24, 2014. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Jason Manford has claimed that Catherine Tyldesley broke the cardinal rule of Strictly Come Dancing – she let slip that she was going on the show.

Contestants have to keep quiet about signing up for the BBC dance competition until the news is officially revealed, and over the years many have admitted they struggled not to let the cat out of the bag.

Comedian and actor Manford said Tyldesley spilled the beans when the pair were working on BBC comedy Scarborough together.

Jason Manford arrives for the the Olivier Awards nominees luncheon in London, Friday, March 10, 2017.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

He said the former Corrie star slipped out for a secret phone call which was apparently from Strictly bosses.

He said on Good Morning Britain: "We were filming it when the phone call must have come through for Strictly.

Catherine Tyldesley arriving at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2019, held at BBC TV Centre in London, UK.

“She said, 'I’m not allowed to talk about it.’ She said, ‘What do you think? Should I do it?'"

Manford said the cast told her: “'Of course you should. We want tickets for Blackpool!”

Read more: First look at Strictly 2019 contestants

“She was very subtle about it,” he added.

But he admitted they couldn’t resist having a bit of fun by humming the Strictly theme tune when they were on set.

The star said he thinks Tyldesley will do well when she steps out onto the dancefloor.

“She’s a dark horse,” he said.

Tyldesley is taking part in Strictly alongside Anneka Rice, James Cracknell, Dev Griffin, Alex Scott, Will Bayley, Michelle Visage, Viscountess Emma Weymouth, Karim Zeroual, Saffron Barker, David James, Chris Ramsey, Emma Barton and Mike Bushell.

Jamie Laing was also in the original line-up but has been forced to pull out due to injury.

Read more: Emily Atack tipped to replace Jamie Laing on Strictly

Judges Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas will be back on the panel dishing out their critiques when the show returns on September 7.

They will be joined by newcomer Motsi Mabuse, the sister of Strictly professional Oti, who is replacing Dame Darcey Bussell.