Peter Andre’s remarkable rise up the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard is nothing compared to the story of his father, who he says was “sold as a slave” when just 11 years old.
The singer and Strictly star revealed his Cypriot father Savvas’s incredible story in a new Radio Times magazine interview. During World War II, Andre explained, his father was sold to earn money for the family.
“It’s very interesting with my dad because at 11 years old in Cyprus, he was sold as a slave,” he said.
“There were 13 kids,” he explained. “And they had no food, no money. So some of the kids had to be sold to earn money for the family. And then Dad came back after years. I didn’t know this until recently. And I said, ‘Dad, are you serious?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but son, that was our life.’
“So Dad’s determination, what Dad’s achieved in life, is incredible. He came to London not being able to speak a word of English, learnt a trade – he became a barber – and he still owns a barber’s shop in Paddington.”
Peter Andre was born in the UK, but moved to Australia with his family when he was six years old. Both his parents were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, but in the interview Peter explained about how he walked away from the faith when the promise of musical success came calling.
Now 42, the Strictly celeb is making another bid for TV fame – but clearly reality is stranger than reality TV for this entertainment star.
Read the full interview in the new Radio Times magazine, out Tuesday