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STRICTLY SPEAKING

AJ PRITCHARD, the Strictly Come Dancing pro, tells us about training, romances and what he feels about having same-sex couples on the show

socks, by Puma at Sockshop, trainers, by adidas

Let’s go back to the very beginning. When did you start dancing?

I’ve been dancing since I was 12, so almost 12 years now. Before that I was into extreme sports such as snowboarding and quad-biking-— anything fast and adrenaline-filled.

My dad Adrian was a dancer and he always said: “No, you’ll never dance, it’s too much hard work and involves too much travelling.” He was Number One in the world and told me it was not a guaranteed future. But I decided I wanted to be a dancer and a TV show called Baby Ballroom came along. I said to my mum, “I want to go on TV,” and she said: “OK, but there is just one problem, you can’t dance.” I told her it was fine and that I’d learn. Obviously I did awfully. The footage is locked away in the BBC archive — hopefully it never gets aired. The next day I announcedthat I really enjoyed it and wanted to learn to dance. It started from there.

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About Attitude

This issue: Cher on Abba, Drag Race and wigs! Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek! Andy Cohen, America’s most dangerous chat show host! Plus, the Gay Farmer and Strictly’s AJ.