Strictly Come Dancing star Anneka Rice says show left her ‘depressed and broken’

Anneka Rice opens up about struggling with her mental health after the show

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Anneka Rice says that Strictly Come Dancing left her injured, depressed and broken.

The star, paired with professional partner Kevin Clifton for the 2019 series, was eliminated in week three.

But Anneka, now 62, says she was left so injured – including suffering neck whiplash – that she needed three months of physiotherapy.

Fearing she would never recover, she also became depressed.

Mother-of-three Anneka said: “I was so broken I’d limp back home… into an ice-cold bath. I think on the whole the experience is, in theory, so joyful you forget things like that.

“It’s like childbirth, you just forget… but I was in physio for three months afterwards because I had such bad whiplash.”

Anneka Rice pictured with Kevin Clifton
(Image: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

Anneka took part in the 17th series of Strictly Come Dancing alongside professional dancer Kevin Clifton
(Image: PA)

She said at the time she danced through the pain because she was “so high on adrenaline”.

She said Strictly’s physiotherapist was skilled at treating her whiplash thanks to previous experience.

The star, who fronted Treasure Hunt and Challenge Anneka in the 1980s and 90s, recalled: “Luckily, the Strictly physio used to run a whiplash clinic, so he was all over it.

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“But it brings you down very low because I’d never really been badly injured in my life, considering all the lunatic stunts and things I’ve done.

“I obviously wondered whether I’d ever recover. I got quite depressed.”

Anneka said on the My Mate Bought A Toaster podcast how the 2019 series of the BBC show was plagued by celebrities getting hurt.

The Treasure Hunt star opened up about needing physio after her time on Strictly
(Image: PA)

Table tennis champion Will Bayley had to withdraw due to an injury.

She added: “Will, who has fused ankle bones anyway, was given a routine where he had to jump from a table, which isn’t necessarily the most sensible thing to do.”

And she recalled how reality star Jamie Laing injured his ankle before even setting foot on a dancefloor.

Anneka Rice revealed that she needed three months of physiotherapy and was left feeling 'broken'
(Image: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

But Anneka suspects her own injuries were caused by not warming up enough before 10-hour rehearsals.

She added: “Kevin and I just had a sausage roll and went for it.”

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