Hamza Yassin and Jowita Pryztal speaking to the Loose Women panel
Strictly Come Dancing star Hamza Yassin has admitted he’s found it difficult to adjust to life in the spotlight since taking part in the show.
Hamza has been a firm favourite with Strictly fans throughout this year’s series, and is one of the few celebrities left in the competition to have avoided landing in the bottom two so far.
However, when he was first announced for Strictly over the summer, the CBBC wildlife presenter and cameraman was among the lesser-known stars on the line-up, and admitted during an interview on Thursday’s Loose Women that he initially found the transition into the limelight to be a difficult.
Asked whether he “struggled” with the celebrity status brought about by Strictly, Hamza said: “To be honest, yes.
“I was and I am on social media, but as soon as I got announced, it was like ‘oooh, who is he?’ and ‘I don’t know who he is’ – and granted, you’re not meant to know who a wildlife cameraman or presenter is… normally I wasn’t under the spotlight.”
Hamza and Jowita won praise for their Couple's Choice routine earlier in the series
He then went on to praise his professional partner Jowita Pryztal, who apparently told him: “Don’t worry about it, it’ll be fine, just be you.”
“Honestly, she carries me,” Hamza said of his dancing partner. “Through half the week she’s just holding me the whole way through.
“And then I just have to flip her every now and then on a Saturday.”
When panellist Jane Moore questioned how he was handling the “noise” of being on Strictly, Hamza explained: “It’s a lot. It is a lot for me… I can happily spend three or four weeks by myself.”
Hamza and Jowita pictured in the Loose Women studio
At the end of the conversation, anchor Kaye Adams asked Hamza whether he could really “go from ‘glitz, glitz, glitz’ to the quiet life” if he were to go on and win the show.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I don’t know how we’re going to cope. For me, I only think about the week that’s coming ahead… we just see what happens on Saturday. We never really think too far ahead.”
Hamza and Jowita have now topped the Strictly leaderboard for four weeks, and will be tackling an Argentine Tango during Saturday night’s live show.
Strictly continues on Saturday night on BBC One, while Loose Women airs every weekday at 12.30pm on ITV1.