Northern Ireland news

Curtis Pritchard to miss start of RTÉ show after 'unprovoked' assault

Curtis Pritchard with his brother AJ

A PROFESSIONAL dancer who was due to appear on the RTÉ version of the Strictly show in January has had to pull out after being injured in an assault.

Curtis Pritchard and his brother AJ were with two friends when they were assaulted in Nantwich, Cheshire, on Thursday.

A family statement said it was an "unprovoked attack".

Curtis will miss the start of the forthcoming run of Dancing with the Stars, which is due to start on January 6.

A spokesperson for RTÉ said a replacement is currently being arranged and they looked forward to welcoming Curtis back when he recovers.

Read more: He saved my life and legs says AJ of brother Curtis

AJ, meanwhile, is a pro-dancer on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show and was partnered with Paralympian Lauren Steadman this year, reaching the semi-final.

The family statement added: "Curtis is due to undergo an emergency operation in the next few days to correct the damages he has sustained to his knee. He is also recovering from injuries to his eye and face.

"AJ received bruising to his face, arms, body and legs."

Cheshire police said officers who attended the scene found that four men, three aged 22 and one aged 24, had been assaulted.

Curtis Pritchard with dance partner Norah Casey on last year's RTÉ programme Dancing with the Stars

A 20-year-old man from Crewe was arrested on suspicion of assault and has since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

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