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Entertainment Strictly: Dan Walker tells BBC Breakfast viewers of his appreciation for professional dancers following exit

12:26  06 december  2021
12:26  06 december  2021 Source:   msn.com

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BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker has spoken of his new-found appreciation for professional dancers after taking part in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Dan Walker leaves Strictly © PA Dan Walker leaves Strictly

The journalist, 44, became the 10th celebrity to be eliminated from the show after his quarter-finals routine with dance partner Nadiya Bychkova failed to win over the judges.

Presenting the morning news show for the first time since his Sunday night exit, Walker admitted he felt “closed off “ from dancing for many years.

"We get to see people at the very top of their games in sport and in all sorts of areas of life," he said.

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"I had no appreciation of how good pro dancers were until I saw it up close and personal and started trying to learn it myself.

"They’re just so good at what they do.

"I appreciate what dancing is all about now and for many years... (I felt) closed off from that world."

Walker said that it had been a "privilege" to be part of the much-loved dancing competition, and thanked BBC viewers for the support they gave to he and his dance partner.

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"I know there’s some people that get angry every week that we managed to stay in but the overwhelming love and the lovely comments have far outweighed all of that," he said.

"I think the right people are in the semi-finals, the best four dancers in the competition. My time had come to an end, there’s no way I could compete.


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"But to get to the quarter-finals of Strictly having never danced before when I started is amazing and that’s all down to Nadiya who is just brilliant.

"I feel that it’s always been a privilege to be part of the biggest show on telly, other than BBC Breakfast of course."

Walker said he had "loved every second" of Strictly but "need(ed) a rest now."

"My body’s given up," he said.

"It lasted eight weeks... a lot longer than I thought it would but it’s been great.

"It’s an entertainment programme isn’t it and I told Nadiya the first day we started: ‘I want you to enjoy this as much as I will and I will love every second of it’, and I have."

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Walker and Bychkova landed in the dance-off against AJ Odudu and her partner Kai Widdrington, who went on to receive the majority vote from the judging panel for their salsa, winning them a place in the semi-finals.

Four couples – TV presenter Odudu and Widdrington; EastEnders actress Rose-Ayling Ellis and Giovanni Pernice; Bake Off winner John Whaite and Johannes Radebe; and CCBC host Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu – remain in the competition for the semi-finals, with Walker saying they are all “so good”.

Judge Motsi Mabuse returned to the show after missing the previous weekend after NHS Test and Trace ordered her to self-isolate.

Stephenson and Xu finished joint top of the leaderboard on Saturday night alongside soap star Ayling-Ellis and Pernice with scores of 39.

Whaite and pro dancer Radebe had a stumble in their salsa routine after they failed to execute a lift properly, but finished third in the judges’ vote.

Sunday night’s elimination show included a performance from boyband JLS.

Strictly Come Dancing’s semi-final airs on December 11 at 7.05pm with the results show on December 12 at 7.20pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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