Amy Dowden thanks Strictly Come Dancing cast for making her ‘feel like Amy again’

Dowden said that coming back to the ‘Strictly’ studio each Saturday provided her ‘only bit of normality’ as she navigated cancer treatment

Ellie Muir
Monday 18 December 2023 13:53 GMT
Amy Dowden surprises Strictly viewers in dance fans call 'moment of the series'

Amy Dowden has thanked the cast of Strictly Come Dancing for helping as she navigated her cancer treatment.

The professional dancer, 33, who first joined the cast of Strictly in 2017, announced that she could no longer compete in the BBC show earlier this year after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and began chemotherapy.

Despite not being able to compete in the show, the Strictly producers had continually included Dowden where they could in the show.

She delighted fans when she made a surprise appearance reading out the terms and conditions. During the final on Saturday night (16 December), Dowden stunned fans when performed in the opening number of the night, where viewers later saw Coronation Street star Ellie Leach and her professional partner Vito Coppola crowned the Strictly champions for 2023.

In a new Instagram post, Dowden thanked her Strictly cast and crew for “helping” her through her treatment, and for making her “feel like Amy again” for the first time since her diagnosis.

“My aim this year was to be able to dance in some way and after breaking my foot the plans had to change but as always the incredible team still made it happen,” she wrote.

“Last night I got to be part of the opening number…To have that adrenaline rush from performing in front of an audience, to be back with the gang made me feel like Amy again (the first time since my diagnosis).”

Dowden thanked Strictly choreographer Jason Gilkison for including her in the performance and said that arriving at the BBC studios each Saturday had given her a small ounce of normality.

“This show certainly brings joy to the nation. It’s bitter sweet coming to the end for me as this has been my only bit of normality the past few months and given me the distraction and focus to be there on Saturdays when I could with the team,” she wrote.

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Amy Dowden surprises fans in the opening number of the ‘Strictly’ final
Amy Dowden surprises fans in the opening number of the ‘Strictly’ final (Strictly Come Dancing, BBC)

“My heart couldn’t be more full than it is for this show and everyone involved. So proud to be part of the magic! Thank you!”

Dowden shared the happy news last month that she had completed all eight rounds of chemotherapy and posted a video of her on social media ringing the ceremonial “end of treatment” bell at the hospital where she was being treated.

However, Dowden experienced another setback last month when she fractured her foot and announced she would likely not be able to appear in the remaining episodes of the show.

Then, on 30 November, Dowden told her fans in another update that she had been unexpectedly rushed to hospital.

“It seems to be never-ending,” she said in a video shared on Instagram. “I was rushed into hospital on Monday and it came to our knowledge on Tuesday that I’ve got another blood clot on my lung and they were really worried that the clot was travelling to my heart or affecting my heart… luckily enough it’s not,” she said.

“This was shock and it just means now… I’m really gutted… I was on blood thinners anyway for the blood clots in my arm…. I’ve still got a blood clot on my lung and obviously, it’s quite close to my heart – there’s a risk.

Amy Dowden appearing on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’
Amy Dowden appearing on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ (Lorraine/ITV)

Dowden said she is receiving regular blood thinning injections for the “foreseeable” and was awaiting another scan.

The Welsh choreographer added that she felt frustrated from experiencing another setback, at a time when she had been working hard to get her “life back” post-chemotherapy.

“You just get into your head when you finish chemo that that’s it. But you learn… it really isn’t. This chemo is still in my body. It’s three weeks today since I finished chemo,” she wrote on 30 November.

“I’m gonna rest up because I want to get back to Amy and get back to doing what I love,” she added.

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