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Strictly Come Dancing paid an emotional tribute to Amy Dowden after the dancer was forced to miss the series’ glitzy launch on Saturday amid her cancer battle.
Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly called her the show’s ‘Welsh Dragon’ as they dedicated the judges and professional dancers’ routine to her.
Caerphilly born Amy, 33, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in May, and began chemotherapy after doctors discovered another type of cancer in her body, meaning she was unable to be paired with a celebrity for the new series.
Ahead of the show-stopping routine Tess said: ‘We are of course, missing one of our professional dancers,’.
Love: Strictly Come Dancing paid an emotional tribute to Amy Dowden after the dancer was forced to miss the series’ glitzy launch on Saturday amid her ongoing cancer treatment
Tribute: Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly called her the show’s ‘Welsh Dragon’ as they dedicated the judge’s and professional dancers routine to her (Amy pictured)
‘Our gorgeous Amy Dowden is unwell and she can’t be with us for the start of the series’.
She went on: ‘But she is our Welsh dragon and we know she will be back soon’.
Claudia then interjected saying: ‘Amy from all your Strictly family we are sending all our love and we cannot wait to have you back on the dance floor’.
With Tess adding: ‘This [dance] is for you!’.
It comes just hours after Amy revealed she’s been ‘extremely’ sick after her fourth round of chemotherapy.
She wrote candidly in her Instagram Stories: ‘Chemo 4. Was extremely sick even with three types of anti sickness. Very tired too. Going to be resting up.’
The star has been open about the side effects of treatment, including hair loss, and confessed she was finding it tough.
Taking to her Instagram Stories on Monday, Amy updated her followers on how she was doing and admitted things were ‘really hard’.
Missed: Tess (R) said: ‘Our gorgeous Amy Dowden is unwell and she can’t be with us for the start of the series’
Get well soon: Claudia said: ‘Amy from all your Strictly family we are sending all our love and we cannot wait to have you back on the dance floor’
She said: ‘So many messages asking me how I’m coping with the hair loss and I’m not gonna lie, it is really hard.’
Trying to stay positive, she added: ‘I think I cry less now. To begin with, it was every day, but now I have meltdowns when I wash my hair once a week.
‘For the last two weeks now, I haven’t brushed my hair and that has definitely helped.
‘Since I came out of hospital with the blood clots, I stopped brushing it myself because I was just getting distraught seeing how much was falling out.’
Illness: The Strictly favourite was diagnosed with breast cancer in May and began chemotherapy after doctors discovered she was fighting another type of cancer too
Update: Posting ahead of the Strictly launch on Saturday, Amy penned the caption as she showed her hand while on the way to the hospital
Amy explained that her husband and dance partner Ben Jones, who she married last year, has been helping by brushing her hair for her so she can’t see what’s falling out.
She explained: ‘I obviously am aware of it, but I’m not physically seeing or holding the hair that I’m losing and that for me is helping me big time.’
Amy looked gorgeous in the video, wearing her hair tucked under a patterned purple and pink scarf.
She said: ‘If I take my scarf off, you’ll see there’s hardly any [hair left], but it’s okay. I keep telling myself, “This too shall pass”.’
She then admitted: ‘This is definitely the hardest part for me personally,’ but said she wasn’t ready to shave her head.
She said: ‘I will get to that point… but I’m just not ready yet.’
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