Former Scottish International rugby player, Thom Evans, gets up-close and personal with his Strictly Come Dancing partner, Iveta Lukosiute, in an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! Magazine.
The model and former boyfriend of Kelly Brook, reveals how he and his Lithuanian partner hit it off immediately. "We get along incredibly well and she is hilarious. We are very similar in many ways too: she is very switched on and know what she wants but she knows when to laugh at herself" he says.
Iveta meanwhile, is over the moon that she ended up with Thom: "All the girls wanted to have Thom Evans as their partner" she says. "I wanted Thom so much that I didn't expect to get him. When they announced it, I was unable to speak. I felt it was meant to be."
Whilst Iveta has been bowled over by Thom's talents in rehearsals, saying: "He is very alive, very active and I think he is going to be good at expressing his feelings," Thom reveals that he is not a complete novice, having taken a year off from rugby to be a boyband, Twen2y 4Se7en, when he was 18, when he toured with Westlife.
"We performed in front of thousands of people so (performing) isn't totally alien to me," he says. "When I was at Wellington College, I did a show where I did my Ricky Martin impression, complete with leather pants. I loved doing that."
In the exclusive interview, he also talks about the tragic neck injury he suffered on the rugby field, which almost cost him his life and deprived him of his dream career. "I had a good cry when I realised I would never play rugby again" he says. "But I wake up every day and thank my lucky stars that I am still here.
"My accident is always there to reflect on and put things into perspective."