Giovanna Fletcher says her family has “gained a new member” after professional dancer Amy Dowden moved into her family home following a Crohn’s flare-up.
The 31-year-old Welsh dancer and choreographer suffered an episode earlier this week while walking near the Fletcher home and was admitted to hospital.
She was partnered with McFly singer and guitarist Tom Fletcher, who has three sons with author Giovanna, on the BBC One show, but they became the eighth duo eliminated during Musicals Week.
The pair have continued to dance together despite being out of the competition.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Giovanna offered an update on Dowden’s recovery.
She said: “They were dancing. They kept that up. And I think that is so good.
“When you are doing that show and there are all those endorphins running through you, to suddenly stop isn’t that great.
“But she had a flare-up last week as she was at our house. Tom was with her, (fellow celebrity contestant) Sara Davies was with her, they were out on a walk when it started.
“It was so bad she had to get an ambulance and then stay in hospital.
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“Since then everyone in Strictly is in bubbles. She can’t travel to the Midlands or Wales. We just want her with us.”
Giovanna and husband Tom stepped in to help while Dowden’s husband, Ben Jones, was working away from home.
She joked: “It is more of a hostage situation possibly. But I do think that is something that is not focused on. The friendships that can be made through Strictly.
“We absolutely adore her. For us it is not a Strictly curse. We have actually gained a new member.”
Speaking about Dowden’s recovery, Fletcher added: “She is good. She was sat on the sofa last night. The colour is back in her cheeks.
“She has still got her hot water bottle and every now and then you can see she is in pain. People with Crohn’s are living with pain.
“But it is nice to see the pink going back into her cheeks.”
Caerphilly-born Dowden first revealed she was suffering from Crohn’s disease in 2019, in a bid to help other sufferers.
Giovanna is also the reigning Queen of the Castle after winning I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2020 and singled out her friend Frankie Bridge as a potential winner in this year’s show.
She said: “I don’t know. I was watching last night. I love Frank. She is an amazing friend. I think she could take the crown.”