Mark Benton loses 2 stone on the Strictly dance diet!

Mark Benton has become the latest advocate of the Strictly Come Dancing diet, shedding two stone in his time on the show.

The Waterloo Road actor dances with pro performer Iveta Lukosiute and revealed he's dropped the weight in just five weeks, but had also lost a stone earlier in the year performing in stage show Hairspray.

He told The Sun: "I've lost three or four stone this year, at least two since I started Strictly. It's wonderful. We must have done the cha cha to U Can't Touch This at least 20 times in a row. I'd say to anybody, if you want to get fit, go and dance."

Mark, 47, said he'd even had his recent MC Hammer costume taken in: "They have to keep an eye on the costume. My gold top from week four had to be taken in because it was too big.

"I'm not bothered about looking brilliant - I don't mind looking daft too. If you're doing MC Hammer, you've got to wear Hammer pants."

He also said he was pleased to have been able to surprise people who may have thought he was a comedy contestant with his dancing skills.

"I think people were a bit shocked I could dance on week one," he said. "I hope I can do justice to my grandad. He was a big man, twice the size of me, massive, but my mam said she used to love dancing with him as he was light on his feet."


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.