'Strictly's AJ Pritchard says getting beaten up was 'character building'

AJ Pritchard (Credit: PA)
AJ Pritchard (Credit: PA)

Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard has said that getting beaten up in a nightclub altercation over Christmas ‘gave me some character’.

Pro-dancer Pritchard appeared in a video posted online during Strictly Come Dancing tour rehearsals by fellow dancer Dianne Buswell.

“How’s it going, Red?” he asks her.

“Look at that face, beautiful, perfect,” she says, while Pritchard replies: “The bruises have gone, thank god. Gave me some character.”

AJ and Dianne (Credit: Instagram)
AJ and Dianne (Credit: Instagram)

24-year-old Pritchard and his brother Curtis, also a pro-dancer, were assaulted by a gang of men at a nightclub in Nantwich, Cheshire, over Christmas.

AJ and Curtis had been posing for pictures with fans prior to the attack, which saw Curtis needing surgery on his knee.

AJ told Lorraine Kelly: “He’s okay. He’s had surgery on his knee, he’s back into physio. It’s shaken up the family, that’s for sure.

“He literally threw himself in front of me to protect me, obviously in doing so took the full force of it he was violently kicked and punched, knocked out. And me trying to get him out of the scenario.”

Calling the attack ‘senseless violence’, he added: “That’s what’s scary. And it’s in my hometown. 10 minutes down the road. Everyone knows me there.”

A 20-year-old man from Crewe was later arrested on suspicion of assault.

Police are also investigating CCTV footage of the attack, which happened at the Nakatcha in Nantwich club just after 2am on December 27.

“This was a serious incident and we are committed to doing all that we can to trace the people responsible and bring them to justice,” Detective Inspector Claire Jesson of Cheshire Police said.

“Inquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and officers are currently examining a large amount of CCTV footage from the nightclub and speaking to a number of witnesses who have come forward.”

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