Entertainment

Former Strictly star AJ Pritchard says he wants to emulate Ant and Dec

He announced his decision to quit Strictly on Thursday.

Former Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard has revealed he wants to emulate Ant and Dec and become a TV presenter with younger brother Curtis.

The dancer, 25, stunned fans when announcing he was departing the BBC show after four years.

In the statement revealing his intention to quit, Pritchard said he wanted to “explore opportunities in the presenting world” alongside former Love Islander Curtis, 24.

AJ Pritchard
AJ Pritchard (left) said he wants to become part of a TV presenting duo with brother Curtis (Scott Garfitt/PA)

Now, speaking to The Sun, he has said the pair have been inspired by Ant and Dec’s on-screen double-act.

He said: “We would love to be that presenting duo, like them. We want to bring our brand — that all-singing, all-dancing Saturday night style of family entertainment, a bit like Bruce Forsyth.”

Pritchard’s most recent celebrity partner on Strictly was the YouTube star Saffron Barker.

He was previously paired with Paralympian Lauren Steadman, singer Mollie King and Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane.

Before joining the Strictly Come Dancing line-up, Pritchard competed on Britain’s Got Talent with dance partner Chloe Hewitt and reached the semi-finals. He said he wanted to “have my own brand” now he has left Strictly.

“It took up six months of my life,” he said. “Some days I would work 18-hour days because I was dancing and choreographing.

“I didn’t have a life and I wanted to be able to do more. I want to show people what I’m about — not just, ‘Here’s my celebrity partner this year that I’m going to showcase’.

“I did have to turn down things in the past, which I was upset about sometimes, but I understood I was part of Strictly Come Dancing. Now I am going to pursue things I didn’t have the time for. It’s the right move.

“It’s a relief to finally quit. If I didn’t further my development now, while at my peak mental well-being, I would regret it.”

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