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'Strictly Come Dancing': Davood Ghadami Rubbishes Claims Suggestive Judges' Comments Are Sexual Harassment

'I took it as a genuine compliment.'

25/11/2017 18:25 GMT | Updated 25/11/2017 18:26 GMT

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Davood Ghadami has rubbished claims some of the judges’ comments directed at him are akin to sexual harassment.

Earlier this week, HuffPost UK blogger Jay McCarthy penned a post suggesting some things the panel said to him following his Paso Doble last week were “unacceptable”.

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Davood Ghadami

After Bruno Tonioli made reference to his sheer shirt that showed off his toned physique, Jay claimed that if similar comments were made to a woman it would equate to harassment and called for more equality on the matter.

However, Davood has admitted he was not bothered about the comments, choosing to take them as a compliment.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, he said: “For me, if I’m going to go out there and do a Paso and show myself a little bit, then I may expect that to be part of the performance.

“I certainly don’t take it as any kind of harassment or take it personally, unless someone was to say, ‘You shouldn’t be doing that,’ or ‘You should be doing that more’, then I think it would be an issue because it would cloud their judgement. As long as it isn’t clouding anyone’s judgement then I don’t mind.

“I think I have to take it as a compliment and a nice thing that they’ve seen that, especially with a Paso, which is a strong dance, it’s important to show certain aspects of strength.

“The Paso used to be that they would show even more than that, so I was actually covered more. It was nice that it was noticed and I didn’t ask for anything extra, so I took it as a genuine compliment.”

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Davood's outfit got the judges hot under the collar

Davood - best known as ‘EastEnders’ market trader Kush Kazemi - also addressed some other controversial comments Bruno made to him and parter Nadia Bychkova earlier in the series.

Bruno came in for criticism from professional dancer Brendan Cole when he said Davood and Nadiya’s jive was “a race to the bedroom” - a remark Brendan claimed was disrespectful to both their real-life partners.

And while Brendan clearly had a problem with it, Davood didn’t seem to, admitting he “enjoys” Bruno’s eccentricity.

“I certainly didn’t take any offence to anything he said,” Davood told us. “He was talking about the performance, which was based around two geeks meeting in a library and falling for each other, and that is what we went with.

“In one sense, he wasn’t far wrong in his commentary of that and our story, so that wasn’t a problem for us.

He continued: “Very often when you’re up there, you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway. It was only after I heard it.

“What is lovely about it here is that we all have each other’s backs and there’s lots of camaraderie here. So I’m sure if Brendan felt a certain way, it’s good that he raised it, but I think it’s about how you read it. I don’t think he meant it in a personal way. ”

He added: “I guess I’m lucky that if it was misunderstood, my family would know and my kids are very young so they wouldn’t understand what that meant. I think Bruno’s got to carry on doing what he’s doing, if I’m honest.”

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Davood plays Kush in 'EastEnders'

Davood has become one of the dark horses of this year’s competition, rising through the ranks over the last few weeks, and now admits to considering trading in his role in ‘EastEnders’ for something more theatrical. 

“I’m very happy at ‘EastEnders’ at the moment, but I certainly do enjoy, and have missed, that feeling of being on stage in front of a live audience,” he said. “That’s one of the lovely things you get to do on ‘Strictly’.

“Doing it as a dancer is obviously not something I expected, but it does bring something out in you. There’s a few moments in this show where you realise, ‘Ah, I love doing this’, and there’s a real warmth in that studio and performing, but we’ll see.

“I’m very much wrapped up in this bubble at the moment, but you never know what’s coming,” he added. 

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ airs on Saturday and Sunday on BBC One. 

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