Alexandra Burke Recalls Undergoing Therapy After Strictly Come Dancing Stint

"I loved my time on the Strictly dance floor but I’ve had to put the rest of that period behind me and I’ve had to have therapy to do that."

Alexandra Burke has revealed she underwent therapy to help her put the negativity she experienced during her time on Strictly Come Dancing behind her.

The former X Factor winner made it to the final of Strictly in 2017, but while competing on the BBC dance show, she was the subject of a string of disparaging stories about her in the press.

As a result of these articles – which she previously branded “negative and untrue” – Alexandra faced abuse on social media, and has told The Guardian in a new interview the bad press from four years ago has continued to affect people’s perception of her.

I’ve had it so many times where I’ve walked into a supermarket and people talk to me. The last bit of the conversation is: ‘Gosh, you’re not a bitch, are you? We read that you’re vile’,” she told the newspaper.

Alexandra Burke
Alexandra Burke
Chris Jackson via Getty Images

At the height of the media scrutiny she faced on Strictly, Alexandra tweeted The Sun’s former showbiz editor Dan Wootton directly about the stories, noting in The Guardian’s interview that he has since apologised to her.

“I’ve known Dan for years. He’s not a terrible person,” Alexandra insisted. “He explained that, unfortunately, there were people inside the Strictly show who were giving him the stories.

“To this day, I still don’t understand where the stories came from because they were absolutely lies.”

She added: “I loved my time on the Strictly dance floor but I’ve had to put the rest of that period behind me and I’ve had to have therapy to do that. I just really encourage people not to believe everything they read.”

A Strictly spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by HuffPost UK.

Alexandra on the Strictly live tour in 2018
Alexandra on the Strictly live tour in 2018
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Alexandra told HuffPost UK in 2018 that she’d initially stayed quiet on the press’ treatment of her during her Strictly stint in the hopes the stories would “just go away”.

However, she eventually felt compelled to speak out after an article was published in The Sun about alleged diva behaviour backstage, which she has repeatedly refuted.

“It was just a line that I read where a certain journalist said, ‘the British public just don’t like you’,” Alexandra said at the time. “I’ll be honest with you, I burst into tears when I read that. And that’s when I said to my brother, ‘it’s not worth my happiness anymore’.

“It was an article [claiming] I was apparently throwing chairs in the green room at Strictly, doing this and doing that because I was in the bottom two.

“Long story short, I wasn’t even in the green room [at the time of the supposed events], I was actually in physio, and nobody knew that I had a very serious injury that I still performed on. I went from physio straight home to rest, and the next thing I read this article where I was apparently throwing chairs! And I was like, ‘where’s that come from?’ It was ridiculous!”

Strictly Come Dancing is set to return for its 19th series later this year, with McFly singer Tom Fletcher, TV presenter AJ Ododu and Bake Off favourite John Whaite among those competing this time around.

Useful websites and helplines

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on


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