Sophie Ellis-Bextor says Strictly put a major strain on her marriage: ‘We paid a heavy price’

‘The physical closeness was something I struggled with throughout,’ said singer

Ellie Harrison
Sunday 03 October 2021 09:10
Sophie Ellis-Bextor hosts 'kitchen disco' during coronavirus lockdown in UK

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has revealed the negative impact Strictly Come Dancing had on her marriage when she competed on the show in 2013.

The “Murder on the Dancefloor” singer came fourth in the BBC series, and was partnered up with professional dancer Brendan Cole.

In an excerpt from her new book, Spinning Plates, obtained by the Mail Online, Ellis-Bextor wrote about the strain the show put on her marriage to The Feeling bassist Richard Jones.

She said: “For all the glitter and sequins and stagecraft it taught me, I had to pay quite a heavy price, and Richard, too… Richard started to struggle with my involvement from the launch show onwards.”

The singer added: “It was so hard for him that I can remember wondering if they’d ever had a contestant walk away from the show before they’d even danced their first dance.

“The physical closeness was something I struggled with throughout, but, by the end, a lot of things I had thought were odd – like the ‘couples’ holding hands or gripping on to each other for the results show – I was used to and it seemed as if, by doing those things, I had crossed another Strictly hurdle.”

According to Ellis-Bextor, Jones became “unusually insistent” on knowing where she was “all the time”. “If I didn’t reply to a text, he’d spiral,” she added.

The artist said: “We would argue when I was home about how distracted I was and about whether I’d get through to the next week. He just felt as if I might slip into a new life that left our family behind.”

Ellis-Bextor said that Jones had counselling while she was on Strictly. The couple now have five children together.

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In her memoir, Ellis-Bextor also revealed that she lost her virginity aged 17 when she was raped by an older musician.

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