Annabel Croft has opened up about how Strictly Come Dancing has helped her deal with the grief of losing her husband.


During an appearance on Lorraine, the tennis legend explained that competing in Strictly has been a "positive distraction" for her.

She said: "It really has. It's been a nice distraction from grief. It's been nice to do something joyful and use my body and try to rest my brain from thinking too many dark thoughts."

Croft's husband, Mel Coleman, died of cancer in May earlier this year.

Annabel Croft has been paired with Johannes Radebe during this year's Strictly Come Dancing and the pair have been dancing to their heart's content each week, hoping to score top of the leaderboard.

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Talking about being partnered with Radebe, Croft said: "I have struck gold. Johannes is just the most amazing human being. You have the most amazing energy, incredible kindness and patience. You are an unbelievable dancer, but also an unbelievable teacher.

"I learn something every second of every day and he does not miss a trick when we're rehearsing. It's a challenge but it's great fun."

Annabel Croft & Johannes Radebe
Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe. BBC/Guy Levy

She went on to say Strictly has been an "amazing experience".

"I've loved both of the dances we've done. They've been quite frantic and we've sort of galloped our way across the stage," she told host Lorraine Kelly.

In week 3, the dancing duo will perform a Waltz to Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's. This weekend, the theme is Movie Week.

Watch Lorraine weekdays from 9am on ITV1 & ITVX. Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday 30th September at 6:20pm. The results show will air on Sunday 1st October on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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