Strictly Come Dancing star Dan Walker has revealed he has been secretly voting for rival EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis to win the show as he “thinks she’s incredible”.
The BBC Breakfast host, 44, has admitted to secretly voting for Rose, 27, as he thinks she is more worthy of the Glitterball Trophy as she is navigating the competition without hearing.
He appreciates the challenges she faces as he has personal experience of being deaf.
He told The Mirror: “My dad is deaf, and I know how hard it is for Rose.
“So for her to do what she’s doing with Giovanni [Pernice], it’s staggeringly impressive. And she’s such a lovely girl as well.”
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The popular TV host continued: “Their dance the other week, their couple’s choice… I was sat next to Nadiya who was in tears. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on the television.
“I’ve watched it about five times the next day with our kids. I think she’s incredible.
“And… I know I probably shouldn’t be but I am voting for her every week.”
Dan has spoken out a lot during his time in the show and earlier this month he hit out at Strictly Come Dancing critics who asked “how is he still in the show”.
The BBC star has received criticism for his dancing ability over the weeks but he strongly defended himself on Instagram recently to his 240,000 followers.
He said: "Each week I get thousands of messages from people who love the show and are really enjoying watching @nadiyabychkova teaching me to dance."
He added: "When I’ve watched Strictly in the past I have always liked seeing great dancers but also those who learn to love it and are working hard to improve every week. It’s a TV show and not the world championships."
He continued: "I never thought I would be able to do some of the things Nadiya has taught me. She has given me a confidence that I thought was way beyond me. I just want to learn as many dances as possible."
He ended his post in defiant mood: "Anyway… on with the American Smooth. Whoever you vote for this weekend… I hope you enjoy the show. I will continue to do it with a massive smile on my face."
This weekend, Dan and Nadia will be performing the rumba to Desperado by The Eagles, which is a dance that has proven difficult for many celebrities over the years.
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