Before this year’s Strictly Come Dancing had even begun, EastEnders actor Davood Ghadami and professional partner Nadiya Bychkova found themselves the subject of many headlines about the so-called ‘Strictly curse’.
The pair seemed to have been inexplicably picked on as the tabloids earmarked them as potential victims even before the pairings had been revealed, speculating on whether they would be subject to the now-infamous romantic curse.
Davood has since told RadioTimes.com that he had to learn to ignore the headlines.
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“When you do something like Strictly, you always know there’s going to be a lot of interest in you, or who partners with who,” he explains ahead of performing a Paso Doble at Blackpool. “So you allow it to happen, but you can’t let it get in the way.
“I guess people and certain media outlets will have certain opinions, or will have something they want to say about it,” he continued. “That was just before Strictly had really begun, now there’s so many more interesting things to talk about. People want to watch Strictly to see the competition and they want to see how people progress.”
Davood, who plays Kush Kazemi in the BBC soap, added that “you have to learn to ignore it when people are saying stuff that isn’t true. You move on and keep the focus on trying to get the dances right week by week.
“Ultimately, it’s always been that thing for me: actors are in an intimate situation very often,” he continued. “I go to work and pretend to be either married to – or sleeping with – another character on the show. And it means my wife and I, obviously, we’re a very, very strong couple; we’ve got two kids; and we’re very happily married.”
He has, however, found “a friend for life” in Nadiya. So much so that he is planning on going to visit her at home in Slovenia.
“What’s lovely is that she’s got to understand my processes and how I work,” he explains. “I feel like something that might take us a good few hours to get through to me a couple of months ago would now take half that time.
“I feel really privileged to have met her,” he adds. “She’s a very, very hardworking person, and an incredibly talented dancer.”
Strictly Come Dancing’s Blackpool Week airs this Saturday on BBC1