19/05/2021 12:20 BST

Seann Walsh Details How Strictly Kiss Fall-Out Is Still Taking A Toll On His Mental Health

The comedian made headlines in 2018 when he was pictured kissing his dance partner Katya Jones.

Comedian Seann Walsh has said the media fall-out from his kiss with his Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones is still taking a toll on his mental health after almost three years.

During the 2018 series of Strictly, Seann made headlines when he was photographed kissing his professional dance partner during a night out, at a time they were both in relationships.

His then-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries subsequently put out a statement at the time, criticising his “unacceptable” behaviour and stating that Seann had branded her a “psycho” when she questioned if anything had happened between him and Katya.

Seann and Katya were at the centre of a media furore for some time after the kiss, which the comic reflected on in an interview with the Take Flight podcast.

Jeff Spicer via Getty Images
Seann Walsh pictured in 2019

During the interview, Seann said that the panic attacks he’d experienced as a young man “came back” as a result of the public scrutiny, explaining: “[They were] big, big panic attacks and I ended up having what I later found out were vertigo seizures.

“I had one the other day, I just [lay] down. I had to lie down in the street, it’s quite humiliating. It’s London so nobody gives a shit.”

He continued: “I have to relive what happened, still. I can be OK and then suddenly the memories of it all come back, that I can’t stop thinking about it.

“It defeats me and beats me until the place starts spinning and I lose balance and fall and then I start screaming. So I still get them. They’re less frequent. I’d never had them before.

“Obviously I’m on some sort of anti-anxiety, anti-depression, it’s called Sertraline, to try and help with that. For me the big one is exercise is what helps me. It really, really helps me deal with that.”

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Seann Walsh and former Strictly partner Katya Jones

In a 2019 interview with Jonathan Ross, Seann previously revealed he’d attended therapy sessions after his stint on Strictly Come Dancing ended.

“I went away [after Strictly] and basically, I went to LA, a very positive place,” he said. “That’s what I needed.

“People in LA, they wake up, they’re smiling, they smile the entire day until bed, that’s what they do. They’re walking around, there is wellness, they’ve got their juices, kale diets, yoga mats, it’s an extremely positive place.

“I wanted to get away and I needed to get away from here and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of the UK, I can’t stand this’ and I went out and there was the positivity and I was enjoying it. And then after a month it did begin, as a Brit, to wear me down.”

During the same interview, Seann also reflected on his treatment of his ex-girlfriend, saying: “I think everything she said in that statement is right.

“I think if you lie and cheat on the person that you’re meant to care for and be in a relationship with, then that is a form of abuse, of course it is. All I can be is as sorry as I am. I hope one day that she’ll forgive me.”

Listen to Seann’s full interview on the Take Flight podcast here.

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 help@themix.org.uk

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 rethink.org.