The cast of Strictly Come Dancing have taken to Twitter to issue messages of support to dancer AJ Pritchard and his brother Curtis, following news that they were victims of an assault in a nightclub over the festive period.
AJ, 24, was out with Curtis, 22, in Nantwich, Cheshire, when they were targeted in an “unprovoked” assault, a family spokesman told Sky News.
While AJ suffered bruising to his body, Curtis, who is a dancer on the Irish version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars, is set to have an emergency operation after sustaining damage to his knee – forcing him to miss the show’s debut in early January.
Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman – AJ’s celebrity partner on this year’s Strictly – posted a photo of the pair sharing a joke on Instagram and said she was “hoping my dance partner will get his smile back soon”.
Fellow Strictly pro Katya Jones wrote, “I can’t believe what happen to AJ and Curtis. Sending lots of love your way. It’s Christmas people! Where is humanity going?”
Giovanni Pernice tweeted: “Wtf is wrong with this people? Guys I’m so sorry Curtis and AJ I’m with you all the way! Disgusting!”
Fellow pro dancer Aljaz Skorjanec wrote, “So upset by the news about AJ and Curtis. Two lovely guys that mean no harm to anyone ever! I can not believe it. To the thugs that did that.. shall we dance?”
Meanwhile, Oti Mabuse said, “Wow! Last to hear the news wishing AJ and Curtis all the love in the world so sad to hear what happened to you… wishing you a speedy recovery.”
Strictly Come Dancing: Gorka Marquez (Getty)
This is not the first time a Strictly star has been a victim of an assault, after Gorka Marquez was assaulted in a nightclub in Blackpool in 2016.
Gorka lost two front teeth in the fight, which was “random and unprovoked”, said police at the time.