Amy Dowden gives update on Strictly future year on from cancer diagnosis, saying she's 'grateful for another shot at life'

4 April 2024, 21:00 | Updated: 4 April 2024, 21:04

Strictly’s Amy Dowden has given fans an update on her future on the show, as she said she is 'grateful' for 'another shot at life'.
Strictly’s Amy Dowden has given fans an update on her future on the show, as she said she is 'grateful' for 'another shot at life'. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Strictly’s Amy Dowden has given fans an update on her future on the ballroom dancing show, as she said she is 'grateful' for 'another shot at life'.

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The Strictly Come Dancing pro was speaking a year on after finding a cancerous lump in her breast.

The professional dancer, 33, who joined the BBC dance competition show in 2017, found the lump in April last year, the day before going to the Maldives on her honeymoon with husband and fellow professional dancer Ben Jones.

After being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer Dowden had a mastectomy before undergoing chemotherapy, which she has now finished.

A year on from her discovery the Caerphilly-born dancer made a visit to Blackpool, which is where she was when she found the lump.

Amy Dowden seen taking part in the 'Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour'
Amy Dowden seen taking part in the 'Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour'. Picture: Alamy

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Speaking to Christine Lampard on ITV's Lorraine, she said: "I'm doing really well, thank you - I'm back in the incredible Empress Ballroom.

"A year ago I was here with my students and I found the lump and was flying off on honeymoon the next day but I can't believe in this last year I've come full circle, from mastectomy to gruelling chemotherapy treatment, a few obstacles along the way.

"But it all worked and I've been given another shot at life and I'm so grateful for that, I really am."

She continued: "I missed being on Strictly so much last year, I've missed dancing.

"I've been working with my physio team, who are incredible, so I've got a new upper body, I haven't danced in a year and that is the goal, for me to get back with my Strictly family. So fingers crossed."

Dowden, who was a finalist on Strictly in 2019 with CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual, was unable compete as a pro on the BBC One show last year but made a few surprise appearances.

In February, she said on Instagram that she would "be taking the next few months to heal and recover" as she revealed that "no evidence of disease" was found during her latest health check.

The star said she will not receive the "all clear" for five years due to her type of cancer.

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden at Arena Birmingham for the launch of the 2020 Strictly Come Dancing UK and Ireland Tour
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden at Arena Birmingham for the launch of the 2020 Strictly Come Dancing UK and Ireland Tour. Picture: Alamy
Amy Dowden and Karim Zeroual attending the the 2019 Pride of Britain Awards
Amy Dowden and Karim Zeroual attending the the 2019 Pride of Britain Awards. Picture: Alamy

The 33-year-old was first diagnosed with breast cancer in May last year. She underwent a mastectomy in June but was later told the tumours had spread and would require further treatment.

It comes after her friend Sara Davies said earlier this year that Amy didn’t want to have chemotherapy.

She told the Mirror's Invite Only podcast: "I spent a lot of time with her at the start of the cancer diagnosis, when she wasn't feeling positive and she'd been dealt a bad hand and she was struggling with it.

"I knew then I needed to be the friend that was filling her tank, but also... I'm not the best person, if you're a bit down in life, and you just want someone to give you a hug and tell you it's (going to) be OK."

She added that she is the type of friend who "wants to fix your problems" and find an "action plan".

"Actually, what I realised is she's been surrounded by lots of people who could give her a hug and tell her it was (going to) be OK," Davies added.

"I was the one who was like, 'What's the plan, Amy?' and pushing her to make difficult decisions. She wasn't sure if she was going to have chemo."

Davies said she did not make the decision for her friend but did coach Dowden through it.

"She lives for Strictly... and what I've realised with the dancers is that from (when they are) little, they are hardwired to dance, it's what makes them happy," she added.

"And the biggest blow for her was: 'If I don't go down that route, I won't be able to do Strictly this year.'

"I had to look her in the eye and say: 'Amy, you've got cancer. They've literally just cut your boob off. They are telling you (that) you need to have this chemo to get better. Don't worry about dance and Strictly.'

"Her response was: 'But they might not want me back next year.'"

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