Strictly recruit Jamie Laing has told that he's chewed through '400 packs' of gum since starting the show.

And its all for the sake of pro dancing partner Karen Hauer, so she doesn't have to deal with his bad breath.

The Made In Chelsea star, 31, says being in close proximity to her has been "awful" because of it.

"I have been through about 400 packs of chewing gum so far just to make sure that my breath doesn't stink when I am so close to her," he said.

But Jamie and Karen "clicked" from the start, he added, meaning the awkwardness of dancing with someone he'd never met quickly dissolved.

Jamie told how he's chewing gum to stave off the bad breath

Jamie told The Sun : "That was great because, of course, it is embarrassing having to put your hands in all these places you shouldn't really be touching unless it's your partner.

"You are in such close proximity to each other, you have to be comfortable with each other, and I think we're pretty comfortable with each other now. It was very intimidating to start with.

"But then on the second day she said, 'Alright, get on your back and put your legs up in the air'. I did and she just looked at me and said, 'Don't fart'. I was like, 'Alright. So we passed that boundary already!'"

Jamie had originally signed up for last year's show, but had to sit it out due to injury.

The duo are near the bottom of the leaderboard
Jamie had to sit out last year's show

Emmerdale's Kelvin Fletcher stepped up to take his place, and with pro Oti Mabuse went on to lift the Glitterball Trophy.

But Jamie's confident his body can take the strain this year, mainly due to the rigorous stretching programme Karen puts him through before each training session.

Saturday will see Jamie and Karen dance live for the second time.

Last weekend's show landed them near the bottom of the leaderboard with a score of just 14, ahead of Jacqui Smith and Anton du Beke.

They'll be taking to the floor again on Saturday
Jamie was keen to return to the show after being forced to sit out last year's due to injury

The Wanted star Max George, actress Caroline Quentin and comedian Bill Bailey are among the other big names taking part.

YouTuber and singer HRVY currently tops the leaderboard, closely followed by EastEnders' Maisie Smith.

And Olympic boxing champ Nicola Adams is making Strictly history as one half of the show's first same-sex competing couple.