Dan Walker, 44, took to Instagram yesterday evening to detail his “strange week” away from dancing. While the BBC Breakfast host admitted he’s “missing” the show, he was also heartened by an outpouring of messages from inspired Strictly fans, some of which he shared on his Instagram.
Detailing his mixed emotions following a happy return to his wife, Sarah Walker, and children, daughters Susanna and Jessica, and son Joe, without Strictly training keeping him busy, Dan admitted he also felt a yearning to continue learning routines.
Dan posted a number of messages from fans to his social media, sharing his best DMs with his 259,000 followers.
Next to the post, he wrote: “This week has been a strange one. It’s been lovely to be at home with my family but I have missed dancing… which is a weird feeling for me.
“If we’d got through we would have been dancing a Waltz to ‘I Wonder Why’ by Curtis Stigers and a Salsa to ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’ by Baccara,” he added, with dancing emojis.
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“Anyway… I promised you I would post some of your lovely messages. There have been thousands of them. I have read through all of them and responded to as many as possible.
“I have sent them on to @nadiyabychkova and it has been amazing to see not only how many people enjoyed watching us every week but also how many have been inspired to have a little dance themselves… and that is wonderful.
“Enjoy the semi-final this weekend. Rose, Rhys, John & AJ will all be brilliant and thanks again for all the kindness & support.”
Last week, Dan and his professional dance partner Nadiya Bychkova became the latest couple to be eliminated from the competition.
The decision was made by the judges following a tense dance-off with AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington, who were similarly placed in the bottom two for the first time following a disastrous botched lift that happened during their dance last Saturday night.
However, on a second try, the pair were able to execute the lift correctly and, while the judges praised Dan for his impressive efforts in the dance-off, he was sent packing.
Nevertheless, the presenter’s lack of any dancing background seems to have proven inspirational for a lot of people who feel self-conscious about their own dancing.
The first message that Dan shared read: “Saturday’s going to be a different show without you on it. I’m so self-conscious of myself and can never let myself dance if I’m out somewhere.
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“But seeing you repeatedly say I’m not a dancer and knocking out a dance and having the best time doing it really makes me want to just do it too.”
Another fan wrote: “Hi Dan… You probably won’t get a chance to read this but I wanted to say well done for what you have achieved during your time on Strictly Come Dancing.
“You have been amazing and for someone who suffers massively with anxiety and depression I was even scared to dance in front of my partner and kids.
“Now I have fought back and danced away with my family even though I probably look ridiculous but it’s all about having fun and just enjoying yourself regardless and you taught me that each week.
“You are an amazing man and a true inspiration so I just wanted to say thank you. Have a lovely Christmas and great New Year.”
Another follower added: “Hi Dan. Given the 1000s of similar messages you’ve got over the previous weeks I know this will sound very repetitive.
“I’ve always stood out in terms of height at family gatherings and as such always felt very reluctant to be the centre of attention on the dance floor.
“After seeing another tall, self confessed ‘non-dancer’ go on national telly each week and dance has made me think different.
“I won’t ever be a good dancer but thank you for giving me the confidence to just get up and dance and not let the height or nerves get the better of me. Thank you.”
The semi-finals of Strictly Come Dancing commence tomorrow night at 7:05pm on BBC One.