Kai Widdrington has spoken out in support of his Strictly Come Dancing partner Angela Rippon and revealed she ‘hid’ injuries from viewers and the judges after ‘brutal’ training for the show.
A record breaker on Strictly this year, thanks to her age of 79 making her the BBC programme’s oldest ever contestant, Angela proved that age was definitely just a number as she lit up the dancefloor with a series of attention grabbing routines, including her week cha cha cha, rumba to Rise Like A Phoenix and her powerful Argentine Tango, the latter earning her and Kai their highest score of 34 out of 40.
After landing in the bottom two over two consecutive weeks, the couple suffered the same fate in Blackpool and, unlike the other occasions, when they were kept in by the judges, lost their place in the competition as Bobby Brazier and Dianne Buswell were saved ahead of them after an unanimous vote. Ex Come Dancing presenter Angela was very gracious in defeat, keeping her composure to talk about having ‘the time of her life’ on Strictly and heaping plenty of praise on Kai for being a fantastic partner, as last year’s Christmas special champion was left in tears.
For the first time, in the run up to Saturday night’s live show in the Tower Ballroom, Angela made mention of a niggling rib injury that had sparked concern, with the broadcasting legend revealing she needed to be given the ‘all clear’ from medics to perform in Blackpool and, as he paid an Instagram tribute to Angela, 51 years his junior, Kai opened up about the painful injuries Angela battled behind the scenes.
Sharing a photo of himself and Angela doing their American Smooth on Saturday night, Kai wrote: “Thank you to all the people that supported our journey and a huge thanks to Angela – you never complained once despite the injuries, the brutal training regime and the increasingly complex routines. It was my pleasure and a privilege to dance with you, you taught us all that age really is just a number.”
Like Angela, Kai also shared his excitement at the pair reuniting for the Strictly live show, which will call at arenas across the UK when it kicks off in January.
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