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Strictly come Dancing star Katya Jones has revealed that fellow dancer Amy Dowden’s cancer diagnosis has helped her find a “solid purpose”.
The 34-year-old Russian dancer has teamed up with Cancer Research UK on its pre-loved items campaign and she is dedicating it to her co-star.
“With the recent news of my fellow dancer, Amy Dowden, being diagnosed with cancer…I just thought it couldn’t be better timing for me,” she told Women’s Health magazine about being approached for the campaign.
“My ethos met its purpose…I wasn’t just now [practicing sustainable fashion practices] because it’s fun and because it’s good to do.
“Now there is a bigger, bigger, bigger reason to do this, a bigger purpose,” she intimated.
The star, who lifted the Strictly glitterball trophy with partner Joe McFadden in 2017, also revealed that she is now dedicating all her efforts to Amy.
“At the start of my yoga class, [we’re told to] dedicate the practice to someone or to something. Every time now I’m dedicating to Amy. It’s the same with this process and with this campaign.
“It’s definitely got a solid purpose and a reason. We are helping people with cancer, and it might save lives,” she said.
Amy announced in May that she had been diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer barely 10 months after she tied the knot with her husband Ben Jones. Earlier this week she posted a tearful video to Instagram documenting the moment when she bravely shaved her head as she continues to battle the disease.
Due to her treatment, she is forced to sit this season out and last week’s launch show included a touching tribute to the stricken star. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman called her their “Welsh dragon” and wished her a very speedy recovery in a lovely tribute ahead of one of the group dances.
Tess said: “We are missing one of our Strictly dancers, the gorgeous Amy Dowden is unwell and she can’t be with us at the start of the series. She’s a Welsh Dragon and we know she will be back soon. Amy, from your entire Strictly family we’re sending you all our love and we can’t wait to have you back on the dancefloor,” Claudia remarked.
Katya is paired with Casualty actor Nigel Harman this season and he has admitted that he is “terrified” by the prospect.
When Claudia Winkleman pointed out to him that Katya could be quite strict, he said: “Everyone keeps telling me this. And every time they tell me this, I get more and more terrified, but I am pretending I’m really calm about it.”
Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One on Saturday 23rd September at 6.15pm. You can read Katya’s full interview in the current issue of Women’s Health magazine.