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‘I advise friends not to do it’ Rachel Riley slams 'mental pressure' of being on Strictly

Rachel Riley, 35, has revealed how her husband, Pasha Kovalev, 41, still struggles to talk about Caroline Flack’s tragic death, after the former Love Island host took her own life last year. The X Factor host won Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Pasha back in 2014, and according to Rachel being in the competition can “mess with people’s heads”.

Speaking on Caroline’s legacy, she said: “Caroline Flack’s was such a tragic story; even Pasha struggles to talk about it.

 “I would prefer not to, apart from to say, I read some of her interviews where she discussed her depression after Strictly and, I agree, it does mess with your head,” she added.

Rachel who appeared on the show where she met her now-husband in 2013, has admitted even warning her friends against appearing in the dance contest.

She continued: “I advise friends not to go on the show and I know people who have dropped out of it due to the mental pressures involved. 

“I don’t think there is enough awareness of the psychological effects it has. I am a maths geek, not a performer. 

“Having ten million viewers sitting in judgment of you, not to mention the actual judges? You need to be very mentally strong not to let that affect your self-worth,” the Countdown host added to The Times.

During a candid chat with MailOnline, the Countdown star also revealed she avoids watching the BBC show after undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to recover from her stint.

“It still terrifies me. I’ve had CBT since because it was so terrifying,” she explained. 

Their second baby is due this month. The Countdown co-host announced her pregnancy news back in April. 

On her pregnancies holding her back, Rachel continued: “I’ve had a bit of a belly for the last couple of years so as soon as I don’t we’ll go somewhere.

“It’s really great and when we’ve been on holiday with our mums he’s like spinning them around and they love it as well. He gets very good brownie points.”

While Pasha told OK! “We wanted baby number two. So, we’re looking forward to welcoming them into this world, sometime in October.”

October is a very exciting month for Rachel, as not only is she expecting her second child to arrive, but she is also releasing a new maths book called At Sixes and Sevens. 

She admitted she wasn’t sure which would arrive first – the book or the baby.

In sharing the snaps of her bump, she captioned it, ‘When, at the end of a successful photoshoot for the cover of my new maths book #atsixesandsevens, the fabulous @rayburmiston asked if I wanted a quick bump shot the answer was hell yeah! 

“Five minutes extra and pics to treasure forever – thanks Ray. Not sure which will be out first between the book and the baby but the book’s release date is 28th October and both are cooking nicely.”


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