Belfast Telegraph

Fern Britton blasts Strictly partner

Fern Britton has reflected on her not-so-happy relationship with Strictly Come Dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev.

The former This Morning host partnered the Russian dancer during the 2012 season of the hit dance show. The pair were the fifth couple to be eliminated and it seems the verdict was a relief for the 57-year-old.

“I did kind of enjoy it but it was grim at the same time,” she said at an event hosted by British newspaper The Times. “We would be in hold and he would look at my feet and just kick me or shove me.”

The 32-year-old had previously won the show during his first year as a professional with actress Kara Tointon, who he went on to date for four years. He then finished fourth with former Neighbours star Holly Valance in the 2011 series and Fern says he didn’t adjust well to dancing with a more mature lady.

“[He’d say], ‘You just stand there and don’t move, I dance round you,’” she said, imitating his accent. “He was like, ‘Shut your face. Go home before I kill you.’ I would say, ‘Oh please just kill me, it would be easier.’ We did love each other for a moment or two but he wasn’t charm personified.”

Artem danced on the BBC One show for one more season with Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede before moving on to the American version, Dancing with the Stars.

Rumours that Fern and Artem hadn’t hit it off circulated during their time on the season, with a source telling British newspaper The Sun that they had fallen out over comments he had made about her weight.

“Artem made jokey comments that they would have a better chance of winning if she lost some weight. But she didn’t find it funny,” the insider said. “I think he thought it would spur her on. But she’s been fighting with her weight for years so it wasn’t very helpful.”

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From Belfast Telegraph