The former father-in-law of Strictly Come Dancing star Dr Ranj Singh has spoken of his family’s heartache after the This Morning medic came out and ended his marriage to a woman.
Dr Ranj, 39, was married to Sulvinder Samra, 40, for five years before he realised he was gay – and has noted how their split was the ‘lowest point’ of his life.
And in a new interview, his ex wife’s dad Jemera has admitted he still feels a lot of painful memories and found it difficult to watch Dr Ranj on TV.
Jemera, 68, told MailOnline he has to switch channels or walk into another room if his former son-in-law appears on the telly.
Dr Ranj was the sixth celebrity to be voted off the current series of Strictly earlier this month.
He said: “The marriage and why they divorced had a devastating impact on us all. We never expected anything like this would happen and if I’m being honest, it’s something that is still a little difficult for me. I have obviously accepted it but it’s still hard.”
Pharmacist Sulvinder is the eldest of Mr Samra’s four daughters he shares with wife Manmohan, 59.
She and Dr Ranj dated for a year before he proposed, having met after he qualified as a doctor in 2003.
Married in 2006, they lived in south east London until she moved home to Nottinghamshire and he came to accept his sexuality. Their divorce was finalised in 2011.
Jemera reflected: “Your daughter marrying a doctor is a dream for most Asian parents. It was a fantastic wedding and we thought he was the perfect match for her.
“We knew they were having some problems about two years into the marriage but didn’t really know the full extent of what was going on. When I discovered that it was because of his sexuality, I just couldn’t get my head around it. Perhaps I’m just too old to understand these things.”
Jemera also said his grandchildren all recognise Dr Ranj from his television appearances – but have no idea the celebrity doc was once part of their family.
He added Sulvinder has now put her life back together, but Dr Ranj’s name is never mentioned because the past belongs in the past.
“You can see that he really enjoys the limelight and has made a name for himself in the celebrity world,” continued Jemera.
“I wish him all the best. We have all moved on but that doesn’t mean what happened is any less painful.”
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