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Kym Marsh Opens Up About Her 'Struggles' With Anxiety During Strictly Come Dancing Stint

Kym Marsh in her official Strictly press portrait
Kym Marsh in her official Strictly press portrait

Kym Marsh in her official Strictly press portrait

Kym Marsh has spoken out about her “struggles with anxiety” during her recent stint on Strictly Come Dancing, and how they affected her time on the BBC show.

The former Coronation Street star was one of 15 famous contestants who competed on Strictly last year, eventually finishing in sixth place alongside professional partner Graziano Di Prima.

During her time in the competition, Kym was candid about how she had been experiencing feelings of anxiety, which included suffering panic attacks during rehearsals.

“I’ve always been open about my struggles with anxiety, and there were times on set where it reared its head and threatened to take hold,” she told Prima magazine.

“I was nervous, but I discovered I could beat it and take control. That’s the lesson I’ll cherish most. 

“I’ve realised how far I’m able to push myself and overcome things that I might think I’m too weak to do.”

Kym on the cover of Prima magazine
Kym on the cover of Prima magazine

Kym on the cover of Prima magazine

The former Hear’Say singer told The Sun during her time on Strictly: ’I’ve always suffered from panic attacks. It’s something I don’t mind talking about because I know it can affect anyone at any time.

“Sometimes it has been ages [since an attack] and then suddenly one just hits. Everyone thinks that because you’re on the telly you must be amazingly confident, but the truth is that I’m not always and this is how that comes out.”

She added: “I don’t know exactly what caused it, I think I’d had some harsh comments from the judges the week before, I’ve been working other jobs at the same time too, so it’s tiring, and I just lost my confidence completely.

“I went to pieces and said ‘I don’t think I can do this’. At that moment I wasn’t sure I could even carry on with the show.

“It’s hard to explain, you don’t see it coming. I’ve had therapy for anxiety and tried things like that but it can still just creep up, usually just when you could most do without it.”

Kym and Graziano speaking to Strictly host Tess Daly
Kym and Graziano speaking to Strictly host Tess Daly

Kym and Graziano speaking to Strictly host Tess Daly

Meanwhile, on her hopes for 2023, Kym told Prima: “I want to keep working hard, setting a good example to my kids and spending lots of time with my grandchildren.

“The past few years have been about setting my sights high and challenging myself – and I’m going to continue to do that. There’s no point in just sitting there and thinking, ‘Right, this is it’. I want to keep testing my limits and proving my capabilities.”

Kym recently returned to the acting world with a role in the new Waterloo Road reboot, having previously taken the lead in a touring production of Fatal Attraction in 2021.

Read Kym’s interview in full in the February issue of Prima magazine, on sale now.

Help and support:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk

  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.

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