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Amy Dowden: I was jealous when I saw people share 2023 highlights

Amy Dowden has said she felt “jealous” when she saw people sharing their highlights of 2023, after she battled through a year with a mastectomy, chemotherapy and fertility treatment.

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Pride of Britain Awards 2023 – London

The professional dancer, who joined Strictly in 2017, announced she had been diagnosed with stage three cancer in May after finding a lump in her breast in April, the day before going to the Maldives on her honeymoon with fellow professional dancer Ben Jones.

Dowden, who is from Caerphilly, but runs a dance school in Cradley in Dudley, missed out on competing on the show this year because of her treatment, and a planned dance about her cancer treatment had to be shelved after she broke her foot.

However, she did make an appearance during the final to take part in a dance while still in her boot as her foot heals.

She told ITV’s Lorraine: “On New Year’s Eve, when you wake up, and you see everyone’s posts about a year, I was actually quite bitter.

“At the beginning of the year I had so many lovely plans. And I was on the Strictly arena tour and had a honeymoon planned with my husband.

“And within a day, it doesn’t just change for during the treatment and surgery, it changes forever to be honest, because it has changed me as a person.

“I looked back and I did find some amazing opportunities that I had but also, when I looked back, I thought, I’ve had cancer, I’ve lost my hair, I’ve lost my boob, I’ve had sepsis, and I went into septic shock and I’ve had blood clots, I broke my foot. Then you’re watching everybody else share these lovely photos and reels and I was a bit jealous.”

Looking ahead to 2024, she said she just wants to get back to dancing.

She said: “I just want to get myself back on that dance floor. It would be amazing to win Strictly but winning will just be being back with the gang dancing, doing what I love in front of an audience with the people I love. I’ve just missed it so much.”

Mulling over the celebrities she would like to be paired with to ensure a victory, she suggested Wolverine star Hugh Jackman, GMB’s Ben Shephard or “a fellow Welshie like Luke Evans”.

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