Strictly Come Dancing star left ‘in tears every day’ speaks out: ‘I felt broken’

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BBC winter staple Strictly Come Dancing has been airing every year since 2004 and with the show’s 18th series set to begin in just a few months time, fans have already begun speculating which famous faces might end up swapping their day jobs for the dance floor. However, before this year’s line-up is announced, former contestant Laura Whitmore, who hosted the most recent series of Love Island, has explained why she found her stint so hard.

The programme has seen celebrities dazzle as they try their hand at a brand-new skill, with many of the contestants eager to keep dancing after being knocked out.

Despite the programme often being known for bringing the feel-good factor to viewers, it’s had its fair share of controversies in previous seasons. 

The show has become famous for the Strictly curse, which has seen multiple contestants and professionals on the show end their relationships after appearing. 

However, there are also other challenges stars can face when competing which are often not revealed to viewers whilst the show is airing. 


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Laura Whitmore – who competed on the programme back in 2016 – recently spoke out about struggling over being paired with Giovanni Pernice and described being left “in tears” throughout her time.

Despite Laura being a favourite amongst fans, she recently spoke out about how she found the partnership with Giovanni “extremely uncomfortable” due to his recent break-up with her friend, Georgia May Foote.

Giovanni and Georgia had been paired with each other in the 2015 series, making the final three couples and also found romance whilst on the show. 

However, they split the following year and Laura described how she found being partnered with Giovanni difficult due to “spending 12 hours a day” with him.

Speaking to Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle on the pair’s Private Parts podcast back in April, Laura spoke out about her time on the show. 

Fans of the BBC dance competition know Jamie was set to be partnered with Oti Mabuse but was forced to pull out when he sustained a foot injury in the first group number of the series. 

After Jamie briefly spoke about his own experiences, Laura admitted: “The dancing was the easiest part of that show. I loved the dancing but I didn’t like the stuff that came with it. 

“What I didn’t like was being removed from everybody and having to spend 12 hours a day with this one person. It did not become about dancing. 

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“I just wanted to dance….I did not want to play the game of doing red carpets with your dance partner and stuff like that, which a lot of people thought you should be doing. I did not want to do that,” she explained. 

It comes after Laura had previously spoken to Irish magazine Hot Press back in 2018 about the partnership, adding: “I love dancing – I topped the leaderboard twice – but I was thrown into the middle of a break-up that had nothing to do with me. 

“Once again, I was a ‘rumoured love interest,’” she said, after rumours about her off-screen relationship with Giovanni began to swirl. 

“I was placed with a partner I was extremely uncomfortable with – and in the end, I felt broken.”


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The star made it to week seven before being eliminated, after being in the dance-off against eventual winner Ore Oduba. 

However, Laura is still wanting to dance and explained how her now-fiancé Iain Stirling bought them dancing lessons for their anniversary so she was able to perform a Jive. 

Laura has been dating the Love Island narrator since 2016 but the pair kept their romance under wraps until the following year.

They announced their engagement earlier this year after Iain popped the question in South Africa back in February. 

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year to BBC One. 

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