Joe McFadden reveals the real reason he wasn’t at the Strictly 2018 launch show

It’s tradition for the previous year’s Strictly Come Dancing winner to perform – but Joe had a very good excuse for his absence…

Joe McFadden in Strictly Come Dancing 2017 Final

When Strictly Come Dancing returned to TV in all its glittering, glamorous glory, there was just one thing missing: last year’s winner Joe McFadden, who broke with tradition by not turning up to perform a dance with his partner Katya Jones.

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Considering the previous year’s winners almost always drop by in the first Strictly week to strut their stuff, McFadden’s absence was noticeable, leading some fans to wonder whether he might have had a falling out with the show’s producers.

But now the former Holby City star has rubbished the reports, revealing that he was actually just tied up with a prior commitment and describing reports of a feud as “nonsense”.

“You don’t believe what you read in the papers – you shouldn’t,” he told Nadia Sawalha on Loose Women, explaining that he was actually at a wedding the day of the Strictly 2018 launch show.

“I was at my friend’s wedding in Glasgow, and actually Nigella [Lawson] was there that night. Richard Madden was there, he was doing a reading and I was singing.

“I was at a wedding – don’t believe what you read in the papers.”

So there you have it – no grand conspiracy or cover-up, just a diary clash. Though McFadden added he definitely doesn’t envy the dancers who do end up having to hit the floor this series…

“We know what they have to go through,” he said.

“You go on stage on Saturday night and make it look polished and easy, but we know the blood, sweat and tears that we’ve had to go through to get to that point.”

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Strictly Come Dancing continues on BBC1 on Saturdays and Sundays