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Seann Walsh: From Strictly Come Dancing scandal to I’m a Celebrity

Award-winning comic is a familiar face for reality TV fans

Louis Chilton
Sunday 20 November 2022 20:39 GMT
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Sean Walsh reacts to Matt Hancock entering I'm A Celeb jungle

I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is back for another year, putting a new roster of famous faces under the bug-covered microscope.

Rounding out a cast that includes Conservative MP Matt Hancock and Culture Club singer Boy George is the comedian Seann Walsh.

Walsh is a familiar face among reality TV fans, thanks to a controversial run on BBC dance competition Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago.

While Walsh has won acclaim for his observational stand-up comedy routines, it is the cheating scandal with dance partner Katya Jones for which he is most widely remembered.

Find everything else you need to know about the new series of I’m a Celebrity here, and the official cast photos here.

Here’s a timeline of Walsh’s career and past controversies, leading up to his participation in I’m a Celebrity...

2009 – Walsh wins Chortle’s Best Newcomer

The comedy organisation recognised Walsh’s potential by awarding him the prize for best newcomer, just a couple of years after Walsh began performing stand-up.

That year he would also make his first appearance on the popular TV panel show Mock the Week.

2012 – Seann to Be Wild

At the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012, Walsh performed his stand-up show Seann to Be Wild. He went on to tour the set around the country, and it was filmed for his first live stand-up DVD.

8 September 2018 – Strictly Come Dancing

Walsh started as a contestant on the 16th series of Strictly Come Dancing.

He was partnered with Katya Jones, in a series that also included celebrities such as Susannah Constantine, Kate Silverton and Graeme Swan.

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Katya Jones and Seann Walsh on ‘Strictly’ (BBC/Guy Levy)

Early October 2018 – Scandal

At the time of his involvement in Strictly, Walsh was in a long-term relationship with actor Rebecca Humphries.

However, just a few weeks into the series’ run, Walsh was pictured outside the Duke of York pub in Marylebone sharing a kiss with Jones, who is married to dancer Neil Jones.

The apparent affair – which some have attributed to the so-called curse surrounding Strictly’s dance partnerships – placed Walsh at the centre of a fierce tabloid backlash. The pair apologised during an interview on Strictly’s It Takes Two companion show.

Soon after the story was published, Humphries broke up with Walsh in a public Twitter statement.

28 October 2018 – Elimination

Walsh and Jones were eliminated from the series in week six, with their image having been tarnished by the offscreen scandal.

May 2019 – Flinch

In 2019, Walsh hosted 10 episodes of a new game show, Flinch, produced for Netflix.

The series was cancelled after just one season.

August 2020 – Walsh quits Twitter

Walsh announced he was leaving the social media platform in August of 2020, claiming the abuse he had recieved online had made his life an “absolute hell”.

“Been off Twitter for around a week. I had to come back on to DM someone. Quickly checked the mensions. This app has contributed to making the last couple of years of my life, absolute hell,” he wrote.

Sean Walsh has opened up about the ‘Strictly’ scandal in the last couple of years (BBC)

“When I was in my mid twenties, before there was even the term ‘troll’, I had a TV show. It wasn’t good but I was young and inexperienced. Nevertheless, that should have been an exciting time in my life. But instead I remember it for someone tweeting me ‘What is @seannwalsh and how do we make it die?’

“I must hear that echo in my mind every few weeks. I hate this place. It’s poisonous.”

March 2022 – Interview with i

In March of 2022, Walsh gave a candid interview to the iabout the Strictly scandal and its fallout.

“It was a trauma,” he said. “You never really get over something like that.”

October 2022 – I’m a Celebrity announced

Walsh is announced as a surprise contestant on the new series of I’m a Celebrity.

He joined the show as a surprise contestant – but his arrival was overshadowed by the news that former health secretary Matt Hancock would be joining him.

It wasn’t long on the new series before presenters Ant and Dec made light of the Strictly scandal on air.

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