Dan Walker hits back at Strictly Come Dancing fix claims ‘You’ve got to enjoy it!’
Strictly: Dan Walker reacts to criticism for staying in show
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Sally Nugent and Dan Walker presented BBC Breakfast on Tuesday morning and took a look at some of the biggest news stories of the day. As the pair flicked through some newspaper headlines, an article about Dan caught Sally’s eye. She revealed the story was questioning why her co-star is still in Strictly Come Dancing after some viewers claimed it was a “fix” at the weekend. However, Dan swiftly hit back at the critical newspaper headline, explaining why he believed he’s not yet been eliminated from Strictly.
“Now Dan I’ve got something to ask you here,” Sally said, with Dan replying: “Oh, okay.”
“A really important high level question that’s in The Sun this morning. ‘How is Dan still in TV show?’ Look at this!” Sally exclaimed, holding up the newspaper article.
“Oh Sally!” Dan laughed, as his co-star added: “What? What are they saying?”
“Do you know what?” Dan began, with Sally replying: “What? You tell me.”
Dan said: “When I watch Strictly at home, when I’m not in it, I always think the test is do I want to see that person or that couple dance next week?
“And I think you’ve got to – I’ve always said from the start, you’ve got to enjoy it, you’ve got to remember that it’s a privilege to be on the programme, you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to try and improve every week.
“I think the best way to answer that is that I had a chat with a lovely fellow called Cecil in the park when I walked the dog on Sunday.
“Cecil came up and I’ve seen him a few times and he came over and had a chat and he said ‘Do you mind if I have a chat with you about something?’ I said ‘No, fire away.’
“He said that his wife, he didn’t tell me her name, but his wife died sort of 30 odd years ago and they used to dance together and he said that he stopped dancing when his wife died.
“Then he said ‘I’ve watched Strictly this year for the first time in a long time’ and he said ‘Watching you and Nadiya, like the enjoyment you get from dancing even though you’re not a dancer and you’ve never danced before…’
“He goes ‘I’ve loved watching that so much’ that he’s gone back and he’s started having lessons again.
“So, that’s what the programme’s all about isn’t it?” Dan commented.
He added: “So, can you as somebody who’s never danced before bring the joy that I’ve never understood comes from dancing until I started going on this programme?”
“That’s what I think of that newspaper article there,” Sally declared as she threw the paper down to the side.
“Maybe Cecil and lots of people like him are the people that are voting,” she added.
“Well, I don’t know if Cecil is voting, but whatever happens that’s lovely isn’t it?” Dan remarked.
“It’s a gorgeous thing,” Sally agreed.
Upon hearing Dan’s comments, fans swiftly took to Twitter to offer up some words of support.
“You are definitely the ‘most improved’ dancer on #Strictly, @mrdanwalker! It’s been a joy to watch your progress!” @Jaynes__World said.
“Ignore the critics. It’s about entertainment but some don’t get that. This happens to one of the celebs every year and unfortunately this year it’s Dan. Making great progress for a non dancer and well liked by the public. Some of the others have probably been having lessons!” @HammondJudith added.
@MandyMoos commented: “Well said Dan, it’s the journey, the improvement! And you have definitely made loads of improvement each week! We love watching you as you shine joy in each dance! Keep Dancing! And well said Sally, that newspaper not worth the paper it’s printed on!”
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.
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