Laila Rouass Recalls 'Nightmare' Experience On Strictly Come Dancing

·2-min read
Laila Rouass in 2012 (Photo: Ferdaus Shamim via Getty Images)
Laila Rouass in 2012 (Photo: Ferdaus Shamim via Getty Images)

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Laila Rouass has admitted her time on the show wasn’t exactly her favourite experience.

In fact, she’s branded her time on Strictly a “nightmare”.

Speaking to Graham Norton on his Virgin Radio show over the weekend, Laila said that while she “loves the show”, she doesn’t have the fondest memories of her time in the competition.

“Oh my god that was a nightmare, it was a nightmare!” the former Footballers’ Wives star admitted. “I really wanted to leave, I didn’t enjoy it.

“I love the show but I wanted to do Blackpool and that’s six weeks. And so I go on, we do Blackpool, Rod Stewart’s there, I’m thinking, ‘I’m living the dream’.”

However, after reaching her goal of making it to Blackpool, Laila then remained in the competition an additional five weeks, which was evidently too long for her liking.

Laila Rouass and Anton Du Beke on the Strictly dance floor (Photo: BBC)
Laila Rouass and Anton Du Beke on the Strictly dance floor (Photo: BBC)

“[After being voted through] you’ve got to go to the camera and go ‘thank you, thank you so much’,” she recalled. “And I go ‘I can’t believe this, I want to go home!’.

“Six weeks and I wanted to go. You get paid the same anyway, whether you’re in the first week or the 17th week.”

During her time on Strictly, Laila found herself at the centre of a media storm when it emerged that her dancing partner Anton Du Beke had used a racial slur to describe her appearance during a rehearsal.

Watch: Craig Revel Horwood spills behind the scenes Strictly goss

“I must say immediately and categorically that I am not a racist and that I do not use racist language,” Anton said at the time. “During the course of rehearsals Laila and I have exchanged a great deal of banter entirely in jest, and two weeks ago there was an occasion when this term was used between the two of us.

“There was no racist intent whatsoever but I accept that it is a term which causes offence and I regret my use of it, which was done without thought or consideration of how others would react.

“I apologise unreservedly for any offence my actions might have caused.”

Laila and Anton pictured in 2009 (Photo: BBC)
Laila and Anton pictured in 2009 (Photo: BBC)

Laila also said: “It was a situation which happened that we have moved on from and I accept his apology.

“I’m really enjoying the show and dancing with Anton and hope we can go as far as possible in the competition.”

Listen to The Graham Norton Radio Show every Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 am on Virgin Radio.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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