Strictly's Dan Walker breaks his silence on those Nadiya Bychkova rumours

Dan Walker BBC Breakfast, who is on Strictly Come Dancing 2021?
(Image credit: BBC)

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker has revealed the real reason Nadia Bychkova comforted him after a backstage breakdown on Strictly Come Dancing.

It was recently reported that the dance partners were caught in an embrace backstage after Dan—who is married to Sarah Walker—broke down in tears on the anniversary of the death of his friend, Gary Speed.

The TV star became upset after watching a rerun of an interview he gave about his friend Gary Speed’s death ten years ago, and was consoled by Nadiya.

An insider told The Sun, “Dan was in bits because he had watched a re-run of his interview with Gary which took place the day before he died. The two were very close, and it was a haunting, harrowing watch.”

“Dan tried to hold it together, but the emotion of the evening became too much after their dance and he broke down in the dressing room.”

Given the allusive “Strictly curse,” tongues started wagging over Dan and Nadiya’s closeness, but insiders at the time confirmed it was entirely platonic.

“Nadiya consoled him. She was amazing, and basically let him cry it out on her shoulder. As a result people have been gossiping backstage about Dan and Nadiya’s closeness, but it was entirely innocent.”

Shortly after explaining the reason he won't be taking part in the Strictly tour, Dan revealed Nadiya was the only person he could seek comfort from due to the show's strict covid-19 precautions.

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According to The Sun, Dan, 44, said, "I just needed to give somebody a hug. I needed to release emotionally from everything I’d been bottling up in the week.”

In order to keep the hit BBC show on our TV screens, the celebrities and their professional dance partners are under strict instruction to keep mixing to a minimum and are only allowed to be in close contact with their partner.

Explaining this, Dan revealed, "There was only one person I was allowed to touch in the entire production that night and that was my partner.

"I needed somebody to give a hug to, and that was literally it."

Dan—who shares three children with his wife Sarah—confessed the 'Strictly curse' rumours were "disappointing" to hear.

"The rumours about us were . . . disappointing. I know these happen every year on Strictly, and there have been instances in the past of the so-called curse, and it’s just telly. But it’s just not nice."

Dan and Nadiya were the last couple to be eliminated from the show, leaving Rhys Stephenson, AJ Odudu, Rose Ayling-Ellis and John Whaite battling it out for a place in the final.

Caitlin Elliott
Junior News Editor

Caitlin is a Junior News Editor for, covering all things royal, celeb, lifestyle, food, and family. Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry).