It’s been a busy few months for Olympic medallist Louis Smith.

After covering himself in glory with silver and bronze medals at London 2012, gymnast Louis started rehearsals for Strictly Come Dancing. Despite an unsure start with partner Flavia Cacace, his flair for acrobatics and amazing skills meant he was dubbed Mr Fantastic Gymnast on the programme, and he went on to win the competition with a perfect score for his show dance to Take That’s Rule the World.

And now, after being awarded an MBE in the New Year honours list, he is partaking in the Strictly tour, which comes to Wembley Arena on Tuesday, February 5 and Wednesday, February 6. We sit down with Louis to talk about performing the Charleston, being a role model and Samuel L Jackson...

Why did you decide to do the tour?

There were lots of different reasons. Coming from the Olympic Games, I knew there would be lots of opportunities to do fun stuff and as soon as I was offered Strictly, I knew straight away that was the one I wanted to do.

For an Olympian, it’s the perfect show, because you’re not doing anything that makes you look silly. It’s just a show that’s fresh, about learning and about fitness and being a good role model. And with the tour, I love the idea of extending that experience, travelling around and just being able to say: I’ve been on tour like a rockstar.

Do you think it will be different from the show?

The stress of doing it on live television and people getting eliminated will be taken away. This will be just performing without the stress, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Presumably as a gymnast, you are used to performing in front of that many people?

Yes, although there will be a different vibe because when you compete as a gymnast, the arena or hall is hushed and everybody is silent so that you can really concentrate. It will be interesting to go out in front of everybody and hear a big roar and lots of cheering.

Have you surprised yourself by how much you’ve embraced the dancing, considering you admitted you were a bit lazy at the beginning with your training?

Yeah, definitely. The further we got in the competition, the more it surprised me how much I wanted to do it. You start to really push yourself as the weeks go by. You want to do more difficult moves, and more technical, and perfect them. And you realise how much work it takes to really perfect those moves. What starts as a bit of fun soon turns into something much bigger and all-consuming.

What have been your highlights?

Performing at Wembley, definitely. That was so cool, even though my performance wasn’t the best. And the first time I did the Charleston was brilliant. I loved doing the waltz, as well. I love both Latin and ballroom, but I think the ballroom suits me better.

Have you got any new celebrity fans?

Yes, I met the guys from The Only Way Is Essex the other day and they were saying they loved watching me, which was great. And before that, Samuel L Jackson tweeted that he was watching me at the Olympics, which was absolutely amazing!

How does dancing compare to competing in the Olympics?

They’re pretty different, really. Strictly is not as nerve-wracking as the Olympics, but you’re still putting a really high level of demand on your body. In fact, I’d say this is harder to train for than the Olympics. I’d been doing gymnastics for 19 years by the time it came to competing in 2012, so my body knew what it was doing and it was using muscle memory to a large extent. But with Strictly it was completely different techniques and using completely different muscles, so it took a lot of getting used to, to make my body do what Flavia wanted it to do!

Are you still single and looking for love?

Yes, I've not met anyone yet, as I’ve been too busy training and rehearsing for Strictly! I haven’t really been out much. But if I met someone now, I guess I could show them my ballroom and see if that did the trick…!

Strictly Come Dancing Tour comes to Wembley Arena, Wembley, on Tuesday, February 5 and Wednesday, February 6. Details: 020 8782 5500,