Sheffield star Vaughan gets ready to shine as dancing begins

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 15/09/2012 - Picture Shows: Strictly Red Carpet - **STRICTLY EMBARGOED until 00.01 on Saturday 15th September 2012** Michael Vaughan - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 15/09/2012 - Picture Shows: Strictly Red Carpet - **STRICTLY EMBARGOED until 00.01 on Saturday 15th September 2012** Michael Vaughan - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy

MICHAEL Vaughan took to the red carpet in a shirt the same scarlet shade – as he gets ready to make his first twinkle-toed footsteps into the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom.

Sheffield’s own sporting star was attending the glittering launch of the 2012 series in London, where contestants rubbed shoulders with the professional dancers and host Tess Daly.

The launch show – when viewers find out which dancers will partner the celebs – is screened on BBC1 tonight.

Last year’s fans’ favourite Russell Grant has already tipped Vaughan to top the leaderboard.

“I worked with him on Test Match Special a while back and I think he’s going to be a dark horse,” he predicted.

But that could be jeopardised by the flare-up of an old injury which is already causing Vaughan some pain.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Baslow, says his dancing training has caused an old cricketing injury to resurface.

“I retired from cricket because I had a dodgy knee,” he said. “And my footwork wasn’t so good! So dancing is testing me.”

But pal Robbie Savage – who played in a celebrity cricket match Vaughan organised at Abbeydale Sports Ground in Dore last week – had some words of comfort.

During an interview on Radio 5 Live, Robbie told Vaughan: “My advice would be it’s not all about the dancing.

“That’s what you come to realise. It’s about your persona and ‘selling’ the dances.”

Michael joked: “Was that your excuse? It’s not all about the dancing? All you need to do when you’re struggling is grab your crown jewels? That’s all you did mate.”

But Robbie quipped in reply: “As a sportsman you get known by a certain audience – or, in Michael’s case, by one man and his dog at county cricket.

“But when he’s at Strictly all the grandmas will get to know him and it will change his life.”