Strictly Come Dancing star addresses real reason behind departure, hints at returning on one condition

Virgin Radio

25 Apr 2024, 10:50

Strictly Come Dancing

Credit: BBC

A Strictly Come Dancing star has revealed why they decided to leave the BBC series just three weeks into the competition in 2016. 

The Pop Idol winner was partnered with Karen Clifton for series 14, but left fans shocked after suddenly departing the series.

Now, while appearing on the How To Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast, Will confessed he was suffering from panic attacks “24 hours a day” during the competition, which led to his decision to exit the ballroom. 

He explained: “I wish I had experienced [Strictly] when I wasn’t ill, because I would’ve loved it.

"I was actually really excited about doing the show but just leaving the house going 20 yards to the corner shop was hard.”

Going into his mental health struggles at the time, Will added: “I was in the middle of a protracted breakdown and PTSD, and I learned very quickly I wasn’t able to do this. It was a heightened agoraphobia.

“Imagine having panic attacks 24 hours a day. I don’t know how I managed it, to be honest.”

The Evergreen hit-maker doesn’t believe his Strictly story is over, and confessed he would be up for doing the show again - on one condition. 

He continued: "If I did it now, I would dance with a male partner. I don't think it was an option [back then]. I don't think it was a conversation, no."

Elsewhere, Will also discussed his new single, Falling Deep, and his longevity in the entertainment industry despite his setbacks. 

Discussing his longevity, the Your Game singer revealed: “There’s a great moment when you’ve been doing it awhile and you suddenly think, ‘Oh I’ve been doing this a while now and I’m STILL doing it’. 

"It was after 8 or 10 years [into my career] and I ran into Florence + the Machine, and I think she was pleased to see me. And I thought, ‘I’ve been doing it a while’. And then you sort of settle in a bit and now I’m at the stage where, in part, it sort of feels like I’m just getting going, actually!"

At Virgin Radio, we are committed to improving the wellbeing of our audience wherever possible. Whilst we ourselves are not Mental Health experts or qualified to directly assist those in need, we have compiled some useful resources to help point you in the right direction here.

Will Young's single 'Falling Deep' is out now. Tickets for his "Light It Up" UK tour goes on sale on Friday, and his new album "Light It Up" is out on 9 August.