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If you're talking ballet stars, the former Royal Ballet principal is up there with Margot Fonteyn as one of the all-time greats.
So imagine my shock when it turns out that despite my two left feet, we have something in common when it comes to the dance floor.
The dancer never forgave him, refusing the opportunity for a reconciliation two years before his death from emphysema in 2000.
At 40, that model heritage is still more than evident in Bussell's tiny frame, although she would claim she's filled out in the past two years.
– it's hard not to be disappointed on meeting her in the flesh.
There's something about a ballerina, even a retired one, which screams pink net and satin ribbons even at 11 o'clock in the morning.
But it is very odd to be on the other side." Although Bussell danced professionally on the show two seasons ago, so far this time round her name has been taken mostly in vain.
And not just by the legions of fans still loyal to the memory of Arlene Phillips.
She says being a mum has prompted her to think more about the world's future."Generally you always push somebody if you think they have the ability to do it, but [the contestants] haven't always got the fitness.Even though they've probably got the rhythm, it's still unnatural to them. The way her body moves and everything, and I don't think they appreciated that." Bussell has had to rely on DVDs to keep up with the show's latest twists – quite literally in the case of several ankles; shortly after retiring she moved, with her Australian banker husband, Angus Forbes, to Sydney, where she now tries to play the role of eco-mum to her daughters Phoebe, eight, and Zoë, six.Not that she talks or even thinks about her biological father these days.Crittle walked out on her mother, the former model and actress Andrea Williams, when Bussell – or Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pemberton Crittle as she was known then – was just three.