Dan Walker hits out at Strictly bosses as former partner Nadiya Bychkova 'snubbed' from celeb pairing

Nadiya Bychkova and Dan Walker

Nadiya Bychkova and Dan Walker competed in the 2021 series

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 12/09/2023

- 11:06

Updated: 12/09/2023

- 11:09

The Channel 5 news presenter was paired up with the Ukrainian dancer for his stint on the BBC show in 2021

Dan Walker has issued a powerful statement in support of Strictly Come Dancing professional Nadiya Bychkova.

Bychkova, who's been part of the Strictly family since 2017, is set to miss out on a celebrity partner for the upcoming series for the first time since she joined the series.

As a result, Walker has taken to Instagram to slam show bosses' decision to omit Bychkova from the pairings this year, admitting he's "gutted" for his former partner.

"Strictly is such an amazing show and it’s almost time for the new series… what a great line-up this year," he began.

Turning his attention to Bychkova, he commented: "All the pros are great but gutted to hear that @nadiyabychkova hasn’t got a partner.

"I’m sure she’s still looking forward to being part of the biggest show on TV but it feels a bit like putting Messi on the bench for the World Cup final," he added alongside a head-exploding emoji.

Walker's praise for Bychkova continued as he penned: "She is so talented, the best teacher anyone could hope for, a top class lobster and… she’s the Yorkshire Barmaid!

"It is an incredible show to be on and the whole team are amazing," he continued. "I hope all the celebs enjoy it.

"And we are all about the A Team in our house… the 2 Angela’s, Amanda, Adam and Annabel. How about you?"

And it appears Walker wasn't alone in his disbelief that Bychkova is set to miss out on a celeb partner this year as hundreds took to the comments section of the post to echo his thoughts.

One fan reacted: "Couldn’t agree more. Such a talented, beautiful person and I am so gutted for her that she hasn’t been given the chance this year to show everyone more of what she can do."

While a second added: "So gutted for Nadiya, she truly deserves to showcase her incredible choreography and dancing talents every week. The loveliest person."

And another weighed in: "I am so very sad for Nadiya. She is a joy and brings such lightness and elegance to Strictly."

Strictly judge Shirley Ballas even took to the comments of Walker's post to share her thoughts on his tribute to Bychkova.

Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington

Nadiya Bychkova is currently dating fellow Strictly pro Kai Widdrington


She typed: "Wow amazing Xx @mrdanwalker," followed by a series of love heart and fire emojis.

Bychkova isn't the only star reported to have missed out on a pairing this year as bosses have also reportedly decided to snub fellow pro Neil Jones once again.

Once the Ukrainian dancer discovered she'd been left out of the line-up, a source told the Mirror she was left "both gutted, and very, very angry".

She also reportedly liked a comment on Instagram from a disgruntled user who accused the BBC show of treating her "like c***".

The exact pairings for this year's series won't be unveiled until the Strictly launch show gets underway.

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