Seann Walsh says Katya Jones kiss turned his life upside down
Watch: Seann Walsh addresses Strictly kiss in new stand up routine
Seann Walsh has said he is "still sorry" for kissing Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones after it turned his life "upside down".
The 36-year-old comedian was pictured kissing his married professional dance partner when he took part in the show in 2018.
This prompted his actress girlfriend Rebecca Humphries to accuse him on Twitter of being verbally abusive and controlling towards her, sparking a national debate about gaslighting.
Walsh said in his comedy special Kiss: "I was in a relationship, my dance partner Katya was married.
"After training we went for a drink, one thing led to another and we were photographed kissing outside a pub.
"Awful, I know. It's awful - I'm sorry. I'm still sorry now."
Read more: Seann Walsh suffering anxiety and depression since 'Strictly' kiss
The stand-up comic has aired a full comedy special online of a routine based entirely around the events and fall out from the kiss he shared with Jones, after the picture was published on the front page of a tabloid newspaper.
Walsh admitted that he had hoped taking part in the celebrity dance show would be good for his career, but it has been the opposite.
He said: "Only I could go on Strictly Come Dancing and come out ‘the most hated comedian in the country’.”
Speaking about the moment he found out the kiss had been made public Walsh recalled: "It was at that exact point that my life would turn upside down - the dream turned into a nightmare."
And he revealed he fled the country after becoming the target of online trolls.
Walsh said: "I was then on the receiving end of thousands of abusive messages online. I did begin to wonder 'Have I done something that wrong?'
"Then.... Katie Hopkins tweeted in my defence. Then I thought, 'Yep, I've f****d up!'"
He added: "I managed to keep Brexit off the front pages for 12 whole days, but I hated it.
"I thought, 'I just had to get out of here,' and I left for America. Just the break I needed."
Walsh has previously revealed he began suffering vertigo seizures - a form of panic attack - as a result of the attention on him after 'the kiss'.
After the photo emerged Walsh and Jones both apologised publicly but were voted out of the BBC show a week later.
Jones and her husband - Strictly professional dancer Neil Jones - had been married since 2013.
They remained together for 10 months before announcing their separation. They continue to dance together on the BBC show.
Read more: Seann Walsh quits Twitter claiming trolls made last few years 'absolute hell'
Jones became part of Strictly's first same-sex couple in 2020, dancing with boxer Nicola Adams. They were forced to pull out of the competition after Jones tested positive for COVID-19.
Last year she was partnered with Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and came ninth.
Watch: Strictly's Katya Jones and husband Neil Jones split in 2019