Belfast Telegraph

Strictly Daniel O'Donnell still dancing but only with my wife

By Joanne Sweeney

Daniel O'Donnell is still dancing - but now only with his loving wife Majella.

Just as the glitter has settled from the Donegal singer's shock departure from Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday, he's back in showbiz mode promoting his new album, The Hank Williams Songbook.

And he told the Belfast Telegraph he had not ruled out dancing with his Russian siren professional dance partner Kristina Rihanoff once more.

"I had thought about asking her to appear with me on tour but I think it would have to be with another dancer," said Daniel. "She's a very busy lady with her own professional career but you never say never.

"I'm not taking part in the Strictly tour and I informed the producers about that before the show started. But when Majella and I go out, we dance all the time. I've always loved dancing."

For the 53-year-old, being voted off the show came at a rather opportune time.

He said: "I'm sure there are people thinking, 'How did they orchestrate that' but the album and the release was all planned even before Strictly came on board so it's quite ironic that I should be eliminated on Sunday and have an album out on Friday after.

"It's very good timing all right, but wherever the intervention came from, I'll take it."

Not only was Daniel very nervous before the live shows but his wife of 13 years was as well.

"Majella was only there for the first week," said Daniel.

"She found it very nerve-wrecking too which is why she didn't want to go again. She was very anxious for me as she knew I was nervous.

"I really found that my nerves were terrible which was a surprise all through the show."

He and Majella had dinner with Kristina - whom he describes as a "lovely girl" - in London on Monday night. The blonde dancer has attracted some negative coverage in the media and online after becoming romantically involved with professional dancer Vincent Simone and sports stars and former contestants Joe Calzaghe and Ben Cohen - all of whom were reportedly in relationships at the time.

Daniel said: "I have nothing but good to say about Kristina. She's a lovely girl. Her patience and her encouragement was fantastic.

"When you are with somebody all day, every day for a number of weeks you really do see what the person is like. She was really lovely and talks about her charity, the Dot Com Children's Foundation, which she's involved in, and how much she enjoys it.

"She's very genuine and it's most unfortunate what has been written about her."

Daniel revealed that he found the lifts in last weekend's waltz to Come Fly With Me "surprisingly easy" and said that when Kristina watched the dance back in slow motion, she thought they were perfect.

The new album of 16 songs is out tomorrow and Daniel will be back on screens in Daniel and Majella's B&B Road Trip which will be broadcast on UTV Ireland on Monday.

The couple have planned to take a break and do some travelling between now and next summer.

However, tickets for his Welcome Back concerts in Killarney in August go on sale on December 5.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph