Strictly’s Dan Walker consoled backstage by partner Nadiya after secret breakdown
BBC presenter Dan Walker broke down behind the scenes on Strictly over the tenth anniversary of pal Gary Speed’s death – he was comforted by his dance partner Nadiya Bychkova with the pair hugging backstage
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Strictly: Craig Revel Horwood criticises Dan Walker’s dance
Dan Walker was comforted by his Strictly dance partner Nadiya Bychkova after having a secret backstage breakdown on the tenth anniversary of pal Gary Speed’s death.
The pair, who are good friends, were spotted hugging backstage with a devastated Dan “sobbing on her shoulder”.
A source told The Sun: “Dan was in bits because he had watched a re-run of his interview with Gary which took place the day before he died. The two were very close, and it was a haunting, harrowing watch. Dan tried to hold it together, but the emotion of the evening became too much after their dance and he broke down in the dressing room.
“Nadiya consoled him. She was amazing, and basically let him cry it out on her shoulder. As a result people have been gossiping backstage about Dan and Nadiya’s closeness, but it was entirely innocent.
Dan and Nadiya may have been scoring low but they are a fan favourite (
BBC / Guy Levy)
Football legend Gary, who played for Leeds and managed Wales before his death, killed himself in a devastating tragedy for the sport.
A source said: “Dan was in bits because he had watched a re-run of his interview with Gary which took place the day before he died.
Married Dan, 44, has been a Strictly wildcard, often picked as a favourite to go every weekend but managing to sway the public vote with partner Nadiya.
He was even tipped to leave last week but made it through, beating fan favourite Tilly Ramsay to stay on the show.
After observing a series of angry tweets directed at him last week, Dan defiantly quipped back: “Thank you to everyone who is sending lovely messages & enjoying us having fun on #Strictly.
Dan’s wife Sarah – they are university sweethearts (
“And to the few who say… ‘Just leave’, ‘Aren’t you ashamed?’, ‘You’re a disgrace’, ‘It’s a fix’ (which I don’t get) or ‘Who is voting for them?’”
“IT’S A TV SHOW! See you in the 1/4 finals.”
This week Dan, who has three children and is married to university sweetheart Sarah, performed a Rumba to Desperado by Eagles, earning a total of 31 points.
While low-scoring Dan and Nadiya sailed through on viewer votes, Tilly Ramsay missed out on a place in the Strictly Come Dancing quarter-final as she became the ninth celebrity to leave the series.