Ainsley Harriott

Ainsley Harriott

Ainsley Harriott has blamed 'Strictly Come Dancing' for wearing down his right hip.

The 59-year-old chef - who was given the boot just five weeks into the series last year - has admitted he's been battling with crippling pain since taking part in the Ballroom and Latin show 12 months ago and doctors have now urged him to have an operation to "resurface" the vital joint.

Speaking at the National Lottery Awards, he said: "After 'Strictly...' my right hip has been playing up and I need it resurfacing. They think I have osteoarthritis. If I do a long journey in the car and get up I am in pain after that."

But, despite the devastating news, Ainsley is adamant he's not bothered by the possibility of having an operation.

He said: "It doesn't worry me, I've been a chef (standing on my feet all day) and it isn't constant pain but you know that it is there. I also have a dog, so I'm constantly walking."

However, Ainsley's aches and pains are probably caused by the fact he has put on the weight he lost when he competed on the show because he's eating better now.

He said: "I probably lost one and a half stone [20 pound]. (It's) seven hours a day and you do pause to eat but you're so exhausted, and you're eating with dancers, it's quite bird foodie - quinoa, couscous, bit of tomato.

"Perhaps you carb up for the performance, but you're not really in the mood for it. I'm back up to 15-and-a-half stone."

Meanwhile, despite his achy hip, Ainsley is in great health.

Speaking to Yahoo, he said: "I sometimes wish I was 10 years younger. I have a check up [at the doctors] every year, I just go, 'Cholesterol is great, heart is good.' "