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Strictly’s Dan Walker is ‘consoled by Nadiya Bychkova ‘

Dan Walker was reportedly comforted by his Strictly Come Dancing professional partner Nadiya Bychkova last weekend as he broke down in tears backstage.

The journalist, 44, who has been married to wife Sarah since 2001, apparently grew emotional after watching a re-run of an interview with late friend Gary Speed, who died by suicide ten years ago aged 42.

Dan had a close friendship with the Welsh footballer and manager, and interviewed him on Football Focus the day before he took his own life. 

‘She has been his rock’: Strictly’s Dan Walker was consoled by pro partner Nadiya Bychkova last weekend as he remembered late friend Gary Speed on the tenth anniversary of his death

A source informed The Sun that the pair, who made it through to the quarterfinals of the dancing show last Sunday, were seen hugging while Dan cried on Nadiya’s shoulder.  

The source continued: ‘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.’

It was also reported that there had been backstage gossip surrounding their closeness, but the source insisted it was ‘entirely innocent.’ 

There for him: A source informed The Sun that the pair, who made it through to the quarterfinals of the dancing show last Sunday, were seen hugging while Dan cried on Nadiya's shoulder

There for him: A source informed The Sun that the pair, who made it through to the quarterfinals of the dancing show last Sunday, were seen hugging while Dan cried on Nadiya’s shoulder

Sad: The journalist, 44, had a close friendship with the Welsh footballer and manager, and interviewed him on Football Focus the day before he took his own life ten years ago, aged 42

Sad: The journalist, 44, had a close friendship with the Welsh footballer and manager, and interviewed him on Football Focus the day before he took his own life ten years ago, aged 42

‘She has been his rock, not just this week, but every week. Dan is so grateful for her friendship,’ the source concluded, also noting that you ‘cannot fake the bond they have.’ 

Dan shared a tribute to his late friend on Twitter on the tenth anniversary of his death, writing alongside the video: ‘I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Gary Speed’s death. I hope this helps someone…’

Creating a thread underneath, the Strictly star added: ‘If you’ve been moved by the Gary Speed tribute today… please watch this video and post something underneath that could help or encourage someone who might be struggling. 

We can genuinely make a difference. Thank you for all the amazing messages.’

Last week, Strictly Come Dancing fans claimed the show is a ‘fix’ after Dan made it through to this week’s show and Tilly Ramsay was eliminated, with the BBC presenter firing back online.

The social media star, 19, was sent packing on Sunday night’s episode after she and Nikita Kuzmin landed in the bottom two with Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu.

While Tilly has turned out consistently strong performances week after week, the newsreader has had less consistent results from the judging panel.

Claims: Last week, Strictly Come Dancing fans claimed the show is a 'fix' after Dan made it through to this week's show and Tilly Ramsay was eliminated, with the BBC presenter firing back online

Claims: Last week, Strictly Come Dancing fans claimed the show is a ‘fix’ after Dan made it through to this week’s show and Tilly Ramsay was eliminated, with the BBC presenter firing back online

Hard luck: The social media star, 19, was sent packing on Sunday night's episode after she and Nikita Kuzmin landed in the bottom two with Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

Hard luck: The social media star, 19, was sent packing on Sunday night’s episode after she and Nikita Kuzmin landed in the bottom two with Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu

However, Dan did not take the criticism lying down and encouraged his detractors to lighten up, reminding them it’s only a TV show.  

Taking to Twitter, Dan wrote: ‘Thank you to everyone who is sending lovely messages & enjoying us having fun on #Strictly.

‘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’. 

If you have been affected by anything in this story, call the Samaritans on 116 123, email [email protected] or click here 

Speaking out: Dan did not take the criticism lying down and encouraged his detractors to lighten up, reminding them it's only a TV show

Speaking out: Dan did not take the criticism lying down and encouraged his detractors to lighten up, reminding them it’s only a TV show


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