DUNFERMLINE veteran JJ Chalmers has proved he is the king of comebacks after recovering from life-changing injuries, winning sporting medals and forging a successful career as a TV presenter.

So learning to dance will be an absolute breeze!

The former marine, who lives in the Auld Grey Toun, will make his Strictly Come Dancing debut on Saturday night in front of millions but he is ready to take on the challenge!

JJ, which stands for John James, was gearing up for a very different 2020 than planned and had been due to cover the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

But when Strictly unexpectedly called his focus turned to competing to win the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

Speaking to the Press this week, JJ said: “It was overwhelming to get the call to be honest! It’s a wonderful opportunity but a bit of daunting one, 10 million people watching you dance is fairly intimidating!

“But I’ve made my peace with it and I am going to immerse myself in the experience, I’m determined to go as far as I can.

“Training so far has been a lot of hard work, it’s physically tasking but it’s mentally challenging too, learning the moves and trying to do 10 things at once!

“It’s totally mentally draining then you come home, get rested and do it all again the next day! But I am enjoying it.

“This has come at a perfect time and it’s great that I have something to focus on and commit to. I’m looking forward to Saturday, it might be different when the lights start flashing but it’s time to get this show on the road!

“Everyone at Strictly wants to make it the best show and that’s what people need right now so it’s great to be able to play a role in that.”

JJ’s career as Royal Marine Commando was cut short in 2011 when he sustained life-changing injuries after being hurt in a blast that killed two of his colleagues while on duty in Afghanistan.

He went through dozens of surgeries following the incident; lost two of his fingers, sustained holes in his legs, suffered scars on his face and chest and at one point even had one arm grafted temporarily to his body.

Despite the odds, the 33-year-old went through rehabilitation and competed in the 2014 Invictus Games, winning three medals as captain of the trike cycling team.

He has become a popular presenter best known for his coverage of the Invictus Games and is a close pal of Prince Harry.

“I was in and out of hospital for five years and honestly I’ve lost count at the number of surgeries I’ve had,” JJ said. “I remember a lot of pain and just wanting to be put back to sleep as it felt like I was being crushed.

“I had never had any experience of hospital, not even a broken bone. But ultimately I had no other choice but to get on with it - I needed to do it for my family, wife, friends, colleagues and the people who were looking after me.

“I needed to try and get myself a life out of this and I must admit that seemed way off when putting on your clothes is a struggle. The self-belief that the marines taught me though is something I’ve been to take through my life and I believe I can do this.

“If you start at the bottom and challenge yourself every day it’s a natural progression to get where I am because every moment connects. I would say to anyone overcoming difficulties, don’t start off building a wall, just a lay a brick each day and the wall will come.”

The father-of-two is counting on the support of his home town, family and friends to get him all the way to the Strictly final!

The Chalmers have lived in Dunfermline for the last 25 years and JJ’s dad, John, is a familiar face to locals as the former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The Strictly star added: “I moved to Dunfermline when I was 8 and although I’ve lived all over, including Plymouth and Edinburgh, I decided that I wanted to settle down and raise our kids in West Fife because it’s such a great place to live.

“All of my family live in the area and that’s the most important thing really that my kids get to grow up with their cousins. Everyone on my parents’ street knows us and they’re supporting me!

“They have seen me grow and fulfil my dream of becoming a marine and then watch me build my life again. To know they are behind me is so lovely. My military friends all think it’s hilarious but they are proud because they have played a part in getting to where I am.

“That includes Prince Harry but he’s just another military friend to us who had a similar role and of course he started the Invictus Games so I’m very grateful for that.

“I owe my life to my military friends that includes my colleagues that lost their lives in the same incident and I think about them every single day. I like to think that they gave me this opportunity and if the shoe was on the other foot I would be supporting them and be too proud too.

“I’ll never be able to thank everybody but I like to think that Strictly will play a part in that.”

JJ has been partnered with professional Amy Dowden, who lives with Crohn’s Disease, and both have bonded over their shared medical problems.

“I’m having the best time with Amy,” JJ said.

“She is a lovely person and really encouraging. Amy’s lived a life similar to me and she’s not let her health pull her down.

“Of course it’s formed her as a person but she’s not let it define her.

“When people look at her they see one of the best dancers in the world and I want people to look at me that way, not as some poor disabled man.

“There are physical challenges just like my everyday life so it’s all about learning what I can and can’t do and Amy has been building routines around that.

“We may find there are some things I can’t do in the weeks ahead but 99 per cent of the routine this week I can do and that’s down to Amy!”