Jacqui Smith has said she is "having the time of my life" on Strictly Come Dancing but admits her "poor old body is taking a battering".

Britain's former home secretary will be seen in the hit BBC One series on Saturday night when it returns to screens. During the launch show the celebrities will be paired with their professional dancers.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, 57-year-old Smith said: "I'm having the time of my life, it is absolutely brilliant.

"We're in proper training now for the first live dance, which is going to be happening a week on Saturday.

"So we've actually recorded the show that is going out tomorrow and all that I can say is my dancing is already better than it will be on the show tomorrow.

"The main use of alcohol as far as I'm concerned at the moment is rubbing it into my aching feet because my poor old body is taking a battering," she said.

"But I have to say, even the youngsters on the show are also physically suffering, so it's not just us oldies who are under the cosh.

"But we are all absolutely loving it and I think, for all of the reasons we talked about, a bit of sparkle and a bit of dance is what the country needs now".

Strictly Come Dancing's launch show airs on BBC One on October 17 at 7.50pm.

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