Strictly star says ‘intense’ BBC show caused marriage ’struggles’

Sophie Ellis Bextor performs on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has shared how her husband Richard Jones “struggled” with her taking part in the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing where she was partnered with Brendan Cole.

Although the singer insisted she “loved” being on the BBC show, she admitted having to pay a “heavy price” for taking part.

Sophie told Lorraine Kelly in a previous interview: “Brendan was brilliant, because right from day one his bit of advice was to involve my friends and my family.

“Whenever they could, they would come along, but it’s a very intense experience and for Richard, he did struggle with it, which obviously, in turn, made me struggle.

“But he did get counselling and help and support, which allowed us both to enjoy it a lot more.”

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She added: “I suppose, Strictly has got so much about it that is glorious and joyful, but I think if they just had a little bit more of emotional support it would have definitely improved my experience.”

Sophie went on to insist she “loved” being on Strictly. However, she claimed in her book, Spinning Plates, she said she had to pay “quite a heavy price” for taking part.

The musician said her husband “became unusually insistent on knowing where I was all the time”.

“If I didn’t reply to a text, he’d spiral,” she added.

“Supporting me in all that I do usually came so easily to him, but with Strictly I think he was just waiting for it to end.

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“He’d message me all day when I was rehearsing, extra keen to know my schedule.

“We would argue when I was home about how distracted I was and about whether I’d get through to the next week.

“He just felt as if I might slip into a new life that left our family behind. I had no such desire, but was too spent at the end of the day to give the reassurance he needed.

“I think the only real reassurance could come with the show finishing.”

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Last month Sophie dedicated a moment of her Glastonbury main stage performance to her husband, as it marked their 18th wedding anniversary.

The singer revealed she gave her husband a card for the day but he had given her a ring with today’s date engraved on it to mark the moment.

“I’m hoping I can make it up to him by dedicating this song to him today,” she added.

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