He told the tabloid: “They asked me last year, or the year before. I think it was the year before. But they asked me at the last minute and my diary was completely full.
“I had so many talks, conferences and dinners to do – I couldn’t cancel 70 functions to do Strictly.”
However, Eddie noted that The Masked Dancer came along just at the right time, after the pandemic put a stop to the public appearances he had planned for the year.
He said: “It was lockdown. So all my speaking work has come to an abrupt halt… I jumped at the chance to get out of the house and learn to dance.”