Seann Walsh says Strictly Come Dancing kissing scandal ‘destroyed’ career and ‘what life could have been’

‘It’s still all I think about,’ comedian said

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 19 May 2021 22:24 BST
Seann Walsh says his life changed forever after the Strictly kissing scandal

Seann Walsh has revealed the extent to which the Strictly Come Dancing kissing scandal has affected his life.

The comedian appeared on the BBC show in October 2018, and was embroiled in controversy after he was caught kissing his professional dance partner Katya Jones on a night out in London, despite the pair both being in relationships.

At the time, both Walsh and Jones issued an apology, and maintained that it was a “drunken” mistake.

Now, speaking on podcast Take Flight, Walsh, 35, said that from the moment the kiss became public knowledge, his life “changed forever” and that it left him having panic attacks.

He said he had one as recent as “last week”, and was forced to “lie down in the street” until it passed.

“I have to relive what happened,” Walsh said. “Still, I can be OK, then suddenly the memories of it all come back. It defeats me and beats me until the plates start spinning and I lose balance and fall and start screaming, so I still get them.”

Walsh said that he had big hopes and dreams for his comedy career, which he felt shattered down around him following the scandal.

“I was a very dream-like young man – I would dream of doing the Apollo, my sitcom,” he said. “Then it was suddenly the first time I was living without hope.”

Walsh continued: “A kiss and a statement destroyed my dreams and who I was. What I could have been, what my life could have been – what I could have made myself – was gone.”

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Seann Walsh and Katya Jones were paired together on 2018’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (PA)

He added that the controversy is |still all I think about” unless he gives himself “something to do”.

he is on anti-anxiety medication, which helps with the panic attacks, and that exercise is also a big help.

Following Walsh’s apology, his girlfriend at the time, actor Rebecca Humphries, announced the end of their five-year relationship and accused him of dismissing her suspicions that something untoward was going on by calling her a “psycho”.

Humphries published an open letter urging women not to stay in controlling relationships.

Jones stayed with her then boyfriend Neil Jones, also a Strictly dance professional, until their separation in August 2019.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

You can also contact Samaritans by emailing The average response time is 24 hours.

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