Belfast Telegraph

Alexandra Burke: I’ll make my late mother proud on Strictly

The star’s mother died at the start of her Strictly journey.

Alexandra Burke has said she will do her best to make her late mother proud when she takes to the Strictly Come Dancing dancefloor.

The pop star’s mother Melissa Bell died on August 28, the day the stars filmed the launch of the BBC One programme.

Burke, 29, said she will be driven by her mother, her “biggest critic”, when Strictly kicks off with the first live broadcast this Saturday.

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Melissa Bell and Alexandra Burke

She told Radio Times magazine: “The one thing that will drive me is my mum, who recently passed away.

“My being on the show was a dream of hers, as well as mine, so doing the best I can on Strictly means a lot to me.

“My mum was my biggest critic. And she has turned me into a perfectionist; everything I do is for her.”

Burke added: “So when I step onto that dance floor on Saturday night I want to do the best I can and make her proud.”

Soul II Soul singer Bell was diagnosed with kidney failure while Burke was competing on The X Factor in 2008.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2017

Two years later it emerged that Burke had offered to give up one of her kidneys to her ill mother in a bid to save her life but she refused the offer because she did not want her daughter to sacrifice her chances of having a family – a possible side effect of the operation.

The singer said that, while she is comfortable performing in front of a large audience and being judged, she is worried about her nerves holding her back.

Burke, who will dance with Strictly professional Gorka Marquez, said: “My biggest fear is falling flat on my face, live on air, in front of millions of people.”

:: Radio Times is on sale now.

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