AJ Pritchard

Strictly: AJ Pritchard and Jake Leigh dance together as tour hit by sickness

Averting a crisis

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Pro dancers AJ Pritchard and Jake Leigh were forced to dance together after a Strictly injury crisis hit the dancing show’s tour.

Both pro dancers Dianne Buswell and Karen Hauer had to pull out of Friday’s show because of illness (January 24).

And there was a scare when ex-Corrie and Emmerdale actress Catherine Tyldesley also had to pull out of the second half of Saturday’s show (January 25).

With the crisis set to mess with the sell-out shows, the boys went into emergency mode.


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The Daily Mail reports that AJ, 25, and Jake hastily put together a routine that saved the day.

AJ then took to his Instastories, where he showed a short video of him rehearsing with Jake to Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do along with Neil Jones.

“Yes we went for it,” he said.

“Get well soon Dianne Buswell and Karen Hauer.”

Dianne later took to Twitter to thank fans for their support and understanding.

“Wanted to say thank you all so much for all your get well wishes over the past few days,” she began.

“I’m just recovering from a bit of a sickness bug and look forward to being back on the dance floor in Dublin.”

Johannes and Graziano danced together (Credit: BBC)

It’s not the first time the Strictly dancefloor has seen an all-male couple dance a routine.

Back in November, pro dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima took to the floor to dance together to perform during a musical segment.

The pair were praised for their routine by fans, and Johannes said: “I’ve never felt so liberated. For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am.

Matt Evers Ian H Watkins
Matt and H made history on Dancing On Ice (Credit: ITV)

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Strictly’s ITV rival, Dancing On Ice, recently became the first TV dance competition to feature a same-sex dance pairing in-competition.

The historic moment saw pro dancer Matt Evers and his celeb partner, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, bring the house down when they took to the ice to perform.

After they scored 25 out of 40 for their efforts, judge John Barrowman was reduced to tears at the groundbreaking pairing.

He spoke for hundreds of thousands of viewers as he spoke of how important it was for him, as a member of the LBTQ+ community, to feel represented.

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