Strictly star JJ Chalmers has brushed off the idea that he is competing in the new series of the BBC dancing competition as a ‘disability spokesperson’.
The TV presenter, 33, was seriously wounded by a bomb blast in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.
But as a disabled man, the Invictus Games medallist and former marine said he sees himself more as a presenter with a disability rather than a disabled presenter – and insisted that all of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing stars are ‘inspiring’ people.
What did Strictly Come Dancing star JJ Chalmers say?
He told ED! and other news outlets at a press event that inspiring people himself would definitely be a bonus.
JJ explained: “Whenever I bring myself to any challenge or role in life, whether that’s me as a TV presenter, I just want to do the best job I possibly can.
“But am I a disabled TV presenter, or am I a TV presenter with a disability? I think I’m the latter. I try and turn up, I try and do the best job that I possibly can as a presenter.”
Pointing out that the BBC has allowed him to work on sports that have nothing to do with disability, JJ added: “I’m completely aware, particularly because of the letters I get from parents and people and things you get on social media, where people are aware of the fact they’re like you. They have a disability, they come from Scotland.
Am I a disabled TV presenter or am I a TV presenter with a disability? I think I’m the latter.
“That’s the thing. My success was built on a moment in my life where I went, ‘I’m not going to let myself create barriers’. There are enough barriers in life and I have physical limitations, but I’m not going to put any more in my own way.”
JJ Chalmers will give Strictly ‘the absolute best crack’
JJ went on to say he plans to give Strictly the “the absolute best crack that I can”.
He continued: “I’m not here to be a spokesperson for disability, I’m not here to be the shining light.
“But I will come out here. And if someone can look at me and go, ‘Blimming heck, he’s done that and he’s got rubbish hands’ then all the better.
“But everyone here will inspire somebody.”
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