Belfast Telegraph

Strictly a 'lifeline' for Webbe

Blue singer Simon Webbe has told how taking part in Strictly Come Dancing has been a "lifeline", turning his life around after finding himself at a low ebb.

The 36-year-old has spoken recently of suffering a bout of depression after finishing a tour in the summer with his reunited group, whose chart hits include All Rise.

Simon - who has been in the dance-off for the BBC1 show on a number of occasions - said there had been tough times on the programme but it had helped him to cope with his difficulties.

He said: "Sometimes your body gives up on you and it's mentally draining as well. You learn something new about yourself - you pull through. You realise you're a survivor and there's nothing too hard out there that can bring you down enough for you to quit.

"This experience has probably been a lifeline for most of us - especially myself. When you're down in the dumps, something comes along - and when you just keep believing, you never know what's around the corner. Strictly has been that experience for me."

Viewers saw the chart star in a state of disbelief when he survived the semi-final last weekend, with his professional partner Kristina Rihanoff having to assure him he was through to the final.

"I was already going through my moves for the dance-off," he said. It was a massive shock but I'm very grateful."

He went on: "I can't believe that I'm here. I'm looking around and I'm thinking 'is someone going to wake me up in a minute', you know. I look at everyone else along the line and I see the standard that's gone through the show. This has just been a fantastic experience so I just thank everyone."

Simon said learning his new skill had given him an insight of how dancing deeply affects the audience.

"You speak to people through your dance. I never understood that at the beginning, I thought dancing was just put your arm in the air, put a smile on your face and look good but people actually feel it through TV working with these guys.

"And watching the professionals, especially when they are doing the group dances, you just realise the standard that you're not. It's an amazing thing to see. And because of the popularity of the show, I'm walking through the supermarket and have people who wouldn't look at me twice saying 'you're that fella off Dancing aren't you? we really like you' - it's a great experience to know that, a wonderful thing."

:: The final of Strictly Come Dancing is screened tonight from 6.30pm on BBC1.

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