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Strictly Come Dancing 2016: Louise Redknapp credits husband Jamie for his support during competition - 'It's taken me back to twenty years ago'

by Sharnaz Shahid

Over the past few months, Louise Redknapp has hooked Strictly Come Dancing viewers with her dazzling routines alongside dance partner Kevin Clifton. And as she prepares for one the glitziest nights in TV's winter calendar – the 2016 Strictly final – the 42-year-old has taken the time to reflect on her whole experience, in particular crediting her husband Jamie for all his support.

Speaking at a press conference this week, Louise revealed that the biggest highlight had been making her husband of 18 years "very proud". She explained: "I'm going to be so honest, when I first started Strictly, I thought this is so not going to up Jamie's street. But since then I can't get rid of him, he comes every Saturday and sits on the front row - he's also in the training room.

"I wasn't expecting that. I thought I was just going to go off to work, do my thing. Honestly, he was very happy for me to do it, he said, 'I think it's going to be great for you and it's about time you got back out there and show everyone who you are.' I just wasn't expecting him to be there every Saturday."

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Strictly's Louise Redknapp reveals she didn't expect her husband Jamie to be so supportive

Louise and professional footballer Jamie, 43, married in 1998 and have since welcomed two sons together - Charley, 12, and Beau, eight. The former pop star went on to say that Strictly has had a huge positive on her marriage. "That has made this experience so special for me, it's really nice to see that person you love be extremely proud of you," she explained. "It takes me back to how we were twenty years ago when we first met and I was on stage. So all good things come out of Strictly."

In October, the mother-of-two revealed that Jamie and Kevin – who is married to fellow Strictly dancer Karen Clifton - have formed a close bond. "We get him to be our audience. Kevin and he end up talking about football and I'll be like, 'Erm, any chance we could learn the cha-cha-cha?'" she told HELLO! Magazine, before noting: "He came to watch filming and said he felt sick, He couldn't contain his nerves."

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The former pop star will be competing in the final alongside dance partner Kevin Clifton on Saturday

The former Eternal band member also admitted that the couple's bond is stronger than ever, explaining that they don't take each other "for granted". She continued: "Every day is a new day and I never take Jamie or my relationship for granted. You always have to work on it and focus on putting each other first when you can. Long may it continue."

Louise and Kevin will be competing against Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse, and Ore Oduba and Kevin's sister Joanne Clifton for the renowned glitterball.

The Strictly Final is on Saturday at 6.35pm on BBC One, with the results show at 9pm.