TV & Radio

Amy Dowden delights Strictly Come Dancing fans in surprise appearance amid breast cancer treatment

Amy Dowden made a surprise appearance on Saturday’s (7 October) episode of Strictly Come Dancing as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

The professional dancer, 33, who joined the cast of Strictly in 2017, was forced to pull out of the competition earlier this year after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

While the professional dancer previously told fans she would not be appearing in the new series, she surprised Strictly viewers as she arrived in a sparkly gown and read out the terms and conditions for the public voting at the beginning Saturday’s episode.

Announcing Dowden to the cameras, host Claudia Winkleman said: “We’re so excited that she’s well enough to be here,” before Dowden emerged from behind a curtain.

As Dowden read out the terms and conditions, an emotional Strictly 2023 cast clapped and cheered her on.

Winkleman went on to add that the cast had been missing their Strictly colleague in her absence from the show, before asking Dowden about the status of her treatment.

“I’m over halfway through treatment and chemo,” an excited Dowden replied. “I can’t wait to be back with you all.”

The Strictly cast continued loudly cheering, with the professional dancers – many of whom have worked with Dowden for years – clearly overjoyed to have her back in the studio.

On social media, Strictly viewers have been praising Dowden following her unexpected cameo on the show.

“The winner of this year’s Strictly is Amy Dowden. Brave, inspirational and a beacon of loveliness. You’ve got this Amy,” wrote one fan, as another added: “How beautiful a moment was that.”

“One big smile is enough to give a great big f*** you to cancer! Lovely to see Amy tonight,” one fan wrote.

Last month, Dowden shared “the hardest step” of her cancer journey with fans as she shaved her head.

On 21 September, Dowden told her fans she had made the decision to “take control” and shave her head.

In a montage shared on Instagram, Dowden was shown dabbing at her eyes while her “loved ones” cut off chunks of her hair down to a short, cropped style.

The remaining hair was then shaved off, with the Strictly star growing more emotional and pausing to cover her face with her hands. However, she was in the end shown admiring the end results in the mirror.

“This too shall pass,” Dowden wrote, before describing the haircut as “the hardest step so far”.

“I tried my best to save it. I know it’s only hair but these past few months I’ve had what feels like so much taken away from me that has made me not feel like Amy. I’m missing every possible aspect of dancing. I just wanted to keep my identity with my hair and I tried telling myself it wouldn’t go. But I would dread the pain of waking up to the shredding everyday.”

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