Catherine Tyldesley reveals Strictly secret – dancing on ice

Actress Catherine Tyldesley has unveiled her secret technique to help win Strictly Come Dancing – being frozen to minus 120C.

The former Coronation Street star is having cryotherapy sessions in ­preparation for the BBC One show.

The extreme cold chambers aid muscle regeneration and stimulate the immune system, helping her stay fit for the gruelling Strictly training.

She said the sessions were “brilliant for healing, speeding recovery and calming inflammation after a workout”.

Catherine, 35, added: “I’m always on such a high afterwards – the best two minutes of my week.”

Cryotherapy was ­developed in the 1970s and Juventus football star Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, has a £36,000 chamber at home.

Singer Gary Barlow, 48, also took the plunge ahead of his UK tour.

He told the Mirror last year: “Someone said to me, it was probably my son, that Ronaldo never goes on the pitch unless he’s had a cryo.

“I am so gullible, I believe all this. So the next minute I thought, ‘I’m going to have a bit of that’. It was horrible. I am used to ice baths – I do those every week and they do make me feel really good as it gets the blood rushing. But this cryo chamber was horrific.”

Catherine, best known for playing Eva Price on the ITV soap from 2011 to 2018, remains nervous about slipping on her dancing shoes.

She said: “I’m a huge fan of the show. It’ll be my biggest challenge to date as I’m not much of a dancer but I’ve always wanted to learn the skill and the time feels right!

“I’m nervous as hell but super-excited to work with such talented professionals. Hold on to your jazz shoes… mine is sure to be a bumpy/clumsy/fun ride.”

Catherine also starred in the Channel 5 series 15 Days and has finished filming a new BBC One comedy series ­Scarborough.

This autumn she will compete for the Glitterball alongside TV host Anneka Rice, rower James Cracknell, ex-football stars Alex Scott and David James, Made in ­Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage.

Also signed up are paralympic ­champion Will Bayley, EastEnders star Emma Barton, comedian Chris Ramsey, YouTuber Saffron Barker, Radio 1 DJ  Dev Griffin, chef Emma, Viscountess Weymouth, sports presenter Mike Bushell and kids’ TV host Karim Zeroual.

Mirror's Sara Wallis tries out cryotherapy for herself

If I wanted to chill out, I’d sooner head to a beach than spend time in a cryotherapy chamber.

I tried it once – in the name of journalistic research – and it was like visiting the Antarctic in a bikini. So bitterly cold that I couldn’t think straight.

I had to wear a towelling outfit, with white socks, white clogs, headband and mask. I looked like a Doctor Who extra. Every item must be made of natural fibres so as not to freeze solid. Glamorous it is not.

The gloves and socks stopped my extremities from freezing off.

The door slammed shut on the 6ft square room and I was told to keep moving. My face went bright red as the blood vessels expanded to four times their normal size, I felt hot and cold, and my legs were shaky. Two minutes felt like 20.

Did I feel rejuvenated? Nope, just in need of a hot cuppa.

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