Ed Balls "didn't know" spray tans existed until he took part in 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Ed Balls

Ed Balls

The 49-year-old politician competed on this year's Latin and ballroom dance competition with professional dance partner Katya Jones, and was amazed to find out that "tan out of a bottle" was something that people can buy, as he thought fake tans were done solely through sun beds.

He said: "Probably my biggest surprise of 2016 was to discover that people really do have spray tans. I knew about sunbeds but I didn't know you could actually get a tan out of a bottle, or that it would feel so cold and tingly."

The former shadow chancellor also said the best way to face his 'Strictly...' fears was to "throw" himself into every performance, as he found it "exhilarating and liberating."

He said: "To throw yourself fully into a performance is frightening, exhilarating and liberating. Unlike when I started my 'Strictly' journey with a cautious waltz, Katya and I will be going all out from the start on the 'Strictly' tour next year."

And despite being kicked out of the BBC talent show, Ed says his "biggest disappointment" of the year was his football team - Norwich City - having a tough season.

He added: "Politics aside, my biggest disappointment was my football team Norwich City being relegated from the Premier League. I am the club chairman and we all felt we let our supporters down."

Meanwhile, Ed believes 'Strictly' has taught him a lot about how to dance.

He told Grazia magazine: "Contrary to my previous 'Dad-style', is as much about the bits of your body you don't move as the bits you do."