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BBC's Dan Walker 'disappointed' by Nadiya Bychkova rumours after Strictly backstage hug

Dan and Nadiya were recently eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing

BBC presenter Dan Walker has batted away rumours of the ‘Strictly Curse’, after the nation began gossiping about him and dance partner Nadiya Bychkova following a backstage hug.

Walker, who is married, was on the receiving end of a flurry of social media finger wagging after a recent episode of the show.

He was spotted embracing Bychkova backstage, prompting many people to suggest there was more to the hug than platonic friendship.

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However, Walker has hit out and said the rumours of the Strictly Curse were ‘disappointing’ - and explained what the hug was all about.

Walker told The Sun that he “just needed somebody to hug,” after having “bottled up” a lot of emotions from the week, culminating in his and Bychkova’s elimination from the show.

As his dance partner, Bychkova was the only person he was allowed to embrace in such an emotionally charged situation under the rules of the show.

Strictly Come Dancing contestants, (left to right) Sara Davies, Ugo Monye, Nina Wadia, John Waite, Robert Webb, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Adam Peaty, Judi Love, Tom Fletcher, Tilly Ramsay, Rhys Stephenson, AJ Odudu, Dan Walker, Katie McGlynn, Greg Wise. Issue date: Sunday September 12, 2021. PA Photo.
Strictly Come Dancing contestants, (left to right) Sara Davies, Ugo Monye, Nina Wadia, John Waite, Robert Webb, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Adam Peaty, Judi Love, Tom Fletcher, Tilly Ramsay, Rhys Stephenson, AJ Odudu, Dan Walker, Katie McGlynn, Greg Wise. Issue date: Sunday September 12, 2021. PA Photo. (Image: PA)

Dan said: “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.

“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.”

A friend of his claimed it was partly after having watched a television rerun of an interview Walker had done with Gary Speed in 2011.

The BBC presenter and former Newcastle United footballer had been close friends. Speed passed away the day after that interview.

Walker's friend told the press: “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.

“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.”

Remaining on Strictly still are Rhys Stephenson, AJ Odudu, Rose Ayling-Ellis and John Whaite.

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