Strictly stars Dan and Rhys show their faith
Strictly Come Dancing stars Dan Walker and Rhys Stephenson have opened up about the importance of their Christian faith on the hit BBC1 Saturday night show. Keith Morris reports.
Strictly star and TV presenter Dan Walker has stood up for his faith, dressed as a red lobster. Popular BBC Breakfast and sports presenter Dan opted for silly over spooky and dressed as a red lobster on the recent Halloween special, saying his family don’t celebrate the occasion.
While most of the show's stars embraced a scary theme, the Christian broadcaster danced a fishy jive with partner Nadiya Bychkova to the B-52's 'Rock Lobster' in matching lobster costumes.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Dan explained that the Strictly team had made an exception for him and allowed him to avoid the Halloween theme due to his beliefs. "So we don't celebrate Halloween in our house and I've got to say a huge thank you to Strictly because they enabled me to be a part of that programme without sort of doing Halloween."
Dan went on to explain that he wanted to set a good example for his children by living by the standards he teaches them. "And our kids, they would normally go to a light party on Halloween weekend or whenever that might be and I couldn't go on that programme and be a disingenuous dad.
"Anybody who's got children and they talk to their children about what they can do and what they can't do and why they do things a certain way… And I can't say, 'Do as I say but not as I do', so that's where the lobsters came from."
CBBC children’s TV presenter Rhys Stephenson (aged 28) topped the Strictly leaderboard with partner Nancy Xu in week eight, with a perfect score of 40 for an amazing Charleston routine.
In an earlier show, Rhys had opened up about his Christian faith, which he said was the "one constant" in his life.
"My family and I are Christians and that has been an integral part of who we are," the CBBC presenter explained. He described his church, the Parish of St James and St John in Romford, as a "second home" where he often leads the worship band and is a keen piano player.
"When everything has changed, my faith has always remained the same," Rhys said.
His church pastor, Rev David Anderton, said the church was "really proud of what he's doing" and revealed that the Strictly star prays before he goes out for every dance along with Nancy: “Rhys asked Nancy if she would pray with him and she said yes, so just before they go onto the dancefloor, they pray."
With partner Nancy, Rhys had performed a Spiderman-themed dance for the show's 'movie night' week. The presenter linked his Christian faith to a passion for superheroes, adding that the movies are "always about good overcoming evil".
On Instagram Rhys, who says he loves video games and basketball, thanked everyone for the supportive messages and gave special mention to those "who felt empowered about me talking about my faith".
Pictured top, Rhys Stephenson and Nancy Xu perform the ‘perfect’ Charleston and, above, Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova as Rock Lobsters. Pictures (c) BBC.