Sophie Ellis-Bextor wishes she’d had ‘more emotional support’ on Strictly: ‘It’s a very intense experience’

Singer revealed in her memoir that her husband, musician Richard Jones, had counselling after struggling during her time on the show

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 09 October 2021 08:24
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Sophie Ellis-Bextor has offered some gentle criticism of her time on Strictly Come Dancing, as she admits she wished she’d had “more emotional support” while on the show.

The pop singer, who is married to The Feeling bassist Richard Jones, recently revealed that taking part in the celebrity dance competition had put a strain on her relationship with her husband.

“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,” she wrote in her memoir, Spinning Plates.

According to Ellis-Bextor, Jones became “unusually insistent” on knowing where she was “all the time” while she was on the show.

“If I didn’t reply to a text, he’d spiral,” she said.

Appearing on Lorraine on Friday 8 October, the “Murder on the Dancefloor” star called the show a “very intense experience”.

“For Richard, he did struggle with aspects of it, which in turn, obviously made me struggle with aspects of it,” she said.

“But he did get counselling and help and support which allowed us both to enjoy it a lot more.”

She continued: “I suppose, Strictly has got so much about it that is glorious and joyful, but I think if they just had a little bit more of emotional support it would have definitely improved my experience on the show.”

However, Ellis-Bextor said she still had “a lot of happy memories” from her time on Strictly.

“I loved it,” she said.

Sophie Ellis Bextor was partnered with Brendan Cole for her appearance on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

Ellis-Bextor came fourth in the BBC series when she was partnered up with professional partner Brendan Cole.

During a recent interview on Loose Women, Cole said he’d had no idea Ellis-Bextor was struggling behind the scenes.

“It was an interesting read,” he said. “My heart broke actually reading it. She didn’t really let on what was going on behind closed doors, even though I had a very close relationship with her and Richard.”

The new series of Strictly is currently underway, airing on BBC One each weekend. You can read more about this year’s contestants here.

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