Amy Dowden says documentary shows “vulnerable” side in comparison to “glamour” of Strictly Come Dancing

Amy is best known for being one of the Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers.

Amy Dowden

We’re used to seeing Amy Dowden in a glittery number as she dances away on Strictly Come Dancing, but the professional dancer has revealed another side to her in her documentary, Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me.

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The documentary originally aired back in October on BBC Cymru Wales and will now have a network premiere on 27th August.

Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Dowden who has been part of the Strictly Come Dancing professionals since 2017, says: “It showed me at my most vulnerable in hospital, because I think people see me on Strictly and I’m on the telly – you know all the glitz and glam, diamantes and the spotlights. So, then actually showing what Crohn’s can do to you, that was really important for people to see me when I’m most vulnerable.”

JJ Chalmers, Amy Dowden
Amy Dowden was paired with JJ Chalmers last year
BBC/Ray Burmiston

Although Amy insisted on showing the true reality of her Crohn’s disease, it was difficult for her to come to terms with it.

“It was hard, don’t get me wrong,” she says. “I was so scared and nervous for people to see me like that in hospital, with my lips really dry and often I was so poorly and vomiting into buckets and being thrown in an ambulance. But I think it was really important to highlight that for other sufferers and not to kind of skim over it and show it at its truest. Every patient suffers differently but I wanted to show the true facts.”

The pro dancer will be back on the dance floor for the 19th series of Strictly later this year, alongside the new Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line-up, which includes AJ Odudu, Sara Davies, Dan Walker, Tom Fletcher and more.

Asked how she feels about Strictly returning to a full series for 2021, with 15 contestants and a full length show, she says: “Oh, I cannot wait! Like, literally I count down the weeks and the hours of the day, the minutes, the seconds – you name it – until Strictly returns. And as soon as it finishes in December, I’m like, ‘Right, come on let’s get back!'”

So, what are her thoughts on the line-up?

“I think it’s amazing. It’s a really great line-up. I’m very excited, but it’s really hard to say if you haven’t met them yet or seen them dance. People really surprise you, like Bill Bailey last year. Nobody would have thought Bill Bailey would have gone on to win!”

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Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me aired in October 2020 on BBC Cymru Wales and will now have a network premiere on 27th August. Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this summer. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Documentaries hub.