Annabel Croft reveals how Strictly Come Dancing is helping her deal with grief after husband’s death

Virgin Radio

4 Oct 2023, 14:03

Credit: BBC / Getty

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 star Annabel Croft has bravely discussed how taking part in the dance competition has helped her in the months following her husband’s death. 

Mel Coleman, a former America’s Cup yachtsman, died at the age of 60 in May 2023, just two months after being diagnosed with stage three cancer.

Anabell previous shared to The Mail on Sunday that Mel was a huge fan of the show, and she was “heartbroken” that he wasn’t able to watch her compete. 

Now, appearing on Wednesday’s (4th October) Lorraine, the tennis pro revealed how she’s fairing in Strictly so far, and described the BBC series as “a nice distraction.”

She continued: “It’s been nice to do something joyful and use my body and try to rest my brain from thinking too many dark thoughts.”

Croft met Coleman in 1986 when the BBC sent her to learn how to yacht in Guernsey for a TV programme.

The pair were married for 31 years, and had three children together, Amber, Lily, and Charlie.

Annabel has been wowing the judges alongside partner Johannes Radebe, and made it safely through to the next stage of the competition by being sat safely in the middle of the leaderboard. 

Speaking about working with Johannes, the sporting star shared: “I have struck gold. Johannes is just the most amazing human being."

Turning to Johannes, Annabel added: "You have the most amazing energy, incredible kindness and patience. You are an unbelievable dancer, but also an unbelievable teacher.

"I learn something every second of every day and he does not miss a trick when we’re rehearsing. It’s a challenge but it’s great fun.”

For their next dance, Annabel and Johannes will be performing the waltz to Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s for Strictly’s infamous Movie Week

Speaking about the elegant performance, the telly star added: “It’s slower, a lot of feeling, every single dance we’ve done, I’m blown away with the detail that goes into every single dance and step… the level that goes into learning. They make it look so easy.”

Watch Lorraine weekdays from 9am on ITV1 & ITVX

Strictly Come Dancing will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Saturday, 7th October at 6.20pm.