How Sara Davies helped Strictly pal Amy Dowden to decide on chemotherapy

The Dragon's Den star became close to pro dancer Amy Dowden when they met on Strictly.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Sara Davies backstage at Utilita Arena Birmingham on January 20, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Sara Davies has opened up on her friendship with Amy Dowden. (Getty Images)

What did you miss?

Dragons' Den star Sara Davies has revealed how she has been continuing to support Strictly Come Dancing pal Amy Dowden, two years after competing on the show.

She told Loose Women how she had helped pro dancer Dowden to decide to have chemotherapy after her breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year. Davies has told how she helped to convince Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden to have chemotherapy for breast cancer after the pair became friends on the BBC One show.

Dragons' Den star Davies took part in Strictly 2021, where she danced with Aljaz Skorjanec, but is still a part of the Strictly family as she has stayed close friends with some of the pro dancers - including Dowden, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May.

What, how, and why?

Sara Davies arriving for the screening of the Ultimate Wedding Planner screening at the Soho Hotel, central London. Picture date: Tuesday July 4, 2023. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sara Davies encouraged Amy Dowden to have chemotherapy. (PA Images via Getty Images)

As well as having a mastectomy, Dowden has been through gruelling chemo treatment which meant that she lost her hair and was unable to take part in this year's series, and Davies has explained how she helped the dancer to decide to go for treatment.

Speaking on Monday's Loose Women about the difficulties of chemotherapy, host Ruth Langsford said to Davies: "I know you're friends with Amy Dowden, lovely beautiful Amy from Strictly, and she was rather reluctant, wasn't she, at first to have chemotherapy?"

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Amy Dowden arrives at the Pride Of Britain Awards 2023 at Grosvenor House on October 08, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Amy Dowden has been going through treatment for breast cancer. (WireImage)

Davies replied: "Do you know, I was with her when she was making that decision. And I remember, because she'd had the mastectomy straight away, she kind of felt like 'well, they've taken it away, so that's finished, that's the end of it. I don't want to have chemo, I don't want to lose my hair, I won't be able to dance on Strictly this year.'

"But the doctors were saying she should, and I said, 'Amy, if the doctors are saying you should, you really need to do it. This is a life changing thing, if this is what they're saying you really need to embrace it.'"

The crafting entrepreneur added: "The chemotherapy was as terrifying as the other C word she was dealing with in her life."

Since then, Dowden has appeared as a guest on Strictly where she showed her hair loss and has spoken about how keen she is to get back on the dancefloor - although she has suffered other setbacks including sepsis, breaking her foot, and developing a blood clot on her lung.

Posting on social media about the blood clot, she said: "I had lots planned this week, voice-overs, just getting my life back and it just seems to be, like with my foot, as soon as I get it back, you know, something comes.You get into your head once you finish chemo that's it, but you learn it really isn't."

What else happened on Loose Women?

As the Loose Women panel discussed chemotherapy on Monday, Kéllé Bryan opened up emotionally on her own experiences about using it to combat her lupus diagnosis. Host Langsford asked her more about having chemo and Bryan unexpectedly ended up tearfully struggling to get her words out.

Kelle Bryan spoke about her own chemo experiences. (ITV)
Kelle Bryan spoke about her own chemo experiences. (ITV)

She said: "Wow. I wasn’t expecting that. I think for me, it’s about your children… I do that so I can have the life that I have with my children. For me, that eight hours in the chair, I can then live a relatively normal, happy life, with my children. I can still do the things that I’ve always wanted to do with them and live the life I’ve wanted to live with them.

"So for me, it is eight hours versus that. So for me that’s a no brainer to make that decision. And it’s not easy. It’s not by any means is it easy, because when it’s coming up, you know it’s coming and you’re always thinking about it."

She added: "I think for women in particular, losing your hair is just so difficult. The other day, because I’m doing panto in Wolverhampton, I have my hair braided because it’s going under a wig every night. I was seeing a hairdresser that I don’t normally see, and they went to do my hair and I was like ‘Oh, look, don’t worry, I’ve lost my hair twice now because of chemotherapy’. And then that changed her attitude to the way she approached me in the chair...It’s those kind of processes that women struggle with because of the side effects."

Loose Women airs on ITV at 12.30pm on weekdays.

Read more: Amy Dowden