21/08/2017 14:57 BST

Gloria Hunniford Says ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Helped Her Cope With Daughter Caron Keating’s Death

'I actually thought that I would never laugh or smile ever again.'

Gloria Hunniford took the chance to reflect on her time on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ during Monday’s (21 August) ‘Loose Women’, revealing that the show helped her cope following the death of her daughter, Caron Keating.

Gloria took part in the 2005 series of ‘Strictly’, one year after Caron died following a battle with breast cancer, at the age of 41.

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Gloria and her fellow 'Loose Women' panelists 

As the panel discussed rumours Debbie McGee has signed up for this year’s show as a tribute to late husband Paul Daniels, Gloria became emotional as she explained how ‘Strictly’ helped her cope with grief.

“In my case, and I’ll try and say this without weeping endlessly, but I actually thought that I would never laugh or smile ever again,” she said through tears. “I was in such a deep spot... I’m sorry I don’t mean to cry but I was in such a black hole. My son, Michael, said to me: ‘I find that so sad.’

Caron and Gloria in 2003 

“So when the call came in about doing it, I couldn’t find anybody to tell me not to do it so I did it.

“And this is where the joy comes in because [‘Strictly’] allowed me to laugh and have joy.

“Anything that takes your mind off grief helps. I’ll never forget the warmth and positivity I got, getting out of that black hole and doing something that was just for me in a way. It allowed me to smile again.”

BBC Pictures
Gloria danced with Darren Bennett on 'Strictly' 

Gloria’s comments come following reports Debbie wants to take part as a tribute to her late husband, Paul Daniels, who died in March 2016.

“She has told friends she is doing it for Paul and is going to take it incredibly seriously,” a source told the Sun. “She wants to put the fun back in her life for the first time properly since he died.”

So far, a number of stars have been confirmed for the next series of ‘Strictly’, which is due to kick off in a matter of weeks.

Among them are comedy performer Susan Calman‘Sunday Brunch’ presenter Simon Rimmer80s-musician-turned-reverend Richard Coles, former ‘X Factor’ contestant Aston Merrygold and soap star Gemma Atkinson.

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