Prince Harry dials in to Strictly to say he is ‘proud’ of JJ Chalmers

Tom Horton, PA
·3-min read

The Duke of Sussex made a surprise appearance in Strictly Come Dancing to tell JJ Chalmers how “proud” he is of the former Royal Marine.

The TV presenter and veteran, who was injured by a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2011, previously competed in the Invictus Games, which Prince Harry founded.

The call was broadcast during a high scoring programme in which three of the couples received at least one perfect score of 10 from a judge.

Chalmers and partner Amy Dowden received the call while they were in training.

Harry said: “When I first met JJ he was a shell of himself, but then to see you shine through Invictus and to feel like yourself again, that was a start of an amazing journey.”

He said he is “genuinely proud” of Chalmers, adding: “You are not a dancer – proving that you can actually do anything that you can put your mind to, which is amazing.”

Discussing Chalmers’ training outfit, Harry told him he is “definitely having an impact on society, especially when you are wearing those tight blue shorts”.

Chalmers praised the role of the Invictus Games in helping him recover from his injuries.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Prince Harry and JJ Chalmers (Chris Jackson/PA)

“The simple fact is that if Prince Harry had not created the Invictus Games, I would not have had that catalyst moment that changed my life forever.

“I wouldn’t be here without him.”

The programme ended in disappointment for Chalmers and Dowden, who were bottom of the leaderboard after being awarded just 17 points.

Chalmers, who performed in military uniform, said he wanted to represent the armed forces during the performance.

“I’m having the time of my life, regardless of what happens,” he said.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood said he “loved the routine, but it just needs a lot more energy”.

YouTuber HRVY, comedian Bill Bailey and radio DJ Clara Amfo all received scores of 10 during the programme.

Amfo shot to the top of the leaderboard after judges Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke gave her and partner Aljaz Skorjanec perfect scores for their Charleston.

Du Beke said: “What can I say, when you rehearse a dance all week, you want it on Saturday night to go like that.

“I have had a wonderful night and you have topped it off, thank you very much indeed.”

Strictly Come Dancing
(Guy Levy/BBC)

Ballas said Amfo had undergone a “transformation”.

The pair were given 29 points overall after Revel Horwood gave them a nine.

Bailey and professional partner Oti Mabuse were also scored a perfect 10 by Ballas following their energetic couple’s choice dance to the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers Delight.

The judge said: “I’m shocked, there’s young people who can’t do that.”

Ballas added: “Any man at home, get up out of that armchair and move like this man.

“I’m in awe, I don’t know what to say.”

The pair scored 27 in total.

Strictly Come Dancing
(Guy Levy/BBC)

HRVY and partner Janette Manrara were also awarded a 10 by Ballas for their salsa.

Du Beke, who is standing in for Motsi Mabuse who is self isolating after she travelled to Germany following a break in at her dance school, said: “As you were dancing there, all I’m doing is going, ‘Wow, yes, yes’.”

He added: “Fluidity, amazing. Lifts, unbelievable. Timing, fantastic. Armography, perfect.

“It was amazing, you are a dream.”

The pair scored 27 overall but it was not enough to stop Amfo leapfrogging them into first place.

At the start of the programme, presenter Tess Daly addressed the early exit of Nicola Adams and Katya Jones from the programme.

Professional dancer Jones tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week and the pair were forced to quit the show.

Daly said: “We know you are watching and we wanted to say we are so sorry that your time on the show has come to an early end, and we are sending all of our love from everyone here at Strictly.”