Pendleton braves blisters for Wharf signing
Cycling ace Victoria Pendleton said she's taking her role in Strictly Come Dancing seriously - and she's got the blisters to prove it.
The London 2012 cycling gold medalist drew a huge crowd to Canary Wharf's Jubilee Place for Thursday's book signing with a queue forming over four hours before her performance.
Beforehand she spoke to The Wharf about her hopes for the television contest, which she revealed earlier this week she was appearing in, and gave us a close-up look at her toe injuries caused by her first training session.
She said: "Do you want to see my feet? I've got blisters here and here and on my heels.
"It's a whole new range of foot related injuries to cycling. I've started training in rehearsals. It's all good fun but hard in a different way. Remembering steps and stuff, the choreography is a new skill for me and not that straightforward."
While she said she was hoping for success, Pendleton played down her chances particularly with the likes of Olympian gymnast Louis Smith also taking part.
She's also worried about the talents of the more established dancers.
"Louis has got that skill," she said. "Being a gymnast and remembering floor routines is something that's quite familiar with him. To be honest my money would be on Louis.
"But Denise Van Outen is a good dancer and she's appeared in Chicago in the West End and Broadway so she's got a bit of experience. And also Kimberley (Walsh) from Girls Aloud and Westlife's Nicky (Byrne) have both got the rhythm and moves. It could be any of them.
"There's no pressure on me. It's nice to do something where there's not the pressure of expectation. I'm looking forward to having fun while trying my best and seeing where it takes me. "
Practice is already hotting up for the first show on Saturday and the 31-year-old said she's now excited to find out who her partner is going to be.
"We've had to dance with everybody in the group and they are all so lovely and good fun," she said. "All the girls and all the guys are so friendly. It's a good feeling.
"And it's nice to meet people who normally our paths would never have crossed. So it's a treat and I'm lucky to be involved in it."
Pendleton was at Canary Wharf publicising her autobiography Between The Lines. She said she was overjoyed by the big turn-out and stunned by the overall response to the Games.
"It's been crazy," she said. "The parade for example through London was absolutely breathtaking.
"The amount of people who came out was ten times more than post Beijing. It was such a lovely experience and the perfect way to end the whole games."
Pick up The Wharf next Thursday, September 20, for the full interview and to find out why the cyclist won't brave London's roads.