Alexandra Burke takes on Strictly after her mum’s death: “It was her dream as well as mine”

Opening up about her late mother, Alexandra Burke tells Radio Times: "My mum was my biggest critic, and she has turned me into a perfectionist."

Alexandra Burke on Strictly Come Dancing

As she throws herself into Strictly Come Dancing in the difficult weeks after her mother’s death, Alexandra Burke explains: “It was her dream as well as mine.”

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Burke’s mother Melissa Bell died on the day of the Strictly red carpet launch event on 28th August. Announcing the death in a statement on Twitter, Burke wrote: “Mummy has always been my biggest supporter and was over the moon when I told her I was doing Strictly… I know that she would have wanted me to carry on.”

Now, with Gorka Marquez at her side as her pro dancer partner, Burke is determined to honour her late mother and throw herself into the Strictly experience.

“My mum was my biggest critic, and she has turned me into a perfectionist,” she tells Radio Times. “Everything I do is for her. Everything I do.”

Revealing her reasons for joining the show, the X Factor winner explains: “Strictly was something I wanted to do, it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for years. I have only ever dreamt of being on the show, and it’s something that my mum really wanted me to do as well.

“It was her dream as well as mine. So the show just means a lot to me.”

Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez on Strictly Come Dancing

Burke, whose hits include Bad Boys and Broken heels, says she is so single minded that she’s put everything on hold for Strictly Come Dancing – including her music career.

“As soon as I got Strictly I cancelled my album. I cancelled my single. I cancelled everything,” she tells us. “Literally this is the only thing I’m committing myself to do.”

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Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 23rd September