Strictly Come Dancing runner up, Ricky Whittle, has revealed that he has been suffering from a secret hernia since he started on the dance show, but didn’t tell BBC bosses in case they made him withdraw.
Ricky told The News Of The World:
“I had to keep it a secret. If they had known the BBC could have pulled me out on medical grounds. And I didn’t want the viewers to find out because I’d hate to think I was getting sympathy votes.”
He added: “I had to lie to Natalie too which I’m not proud of but I really wanted to be on Strictly and I know she would have made me stop.
“The only people who knew the truth were my GP and my ex-girlfriend Carley Stenson.
“She kept trying to get me to stop dancing but I was determined to do my best and not fail.
“Every week I was terrified I would collapse on stage and be rushed to hospital. The pain was horrendous but it was my dream to go on the show and I wasn’t going to let an injury stop me.”
Ricky admitted that he will need surgery on the tennis ball sized lump now that the show is over.
“I’ve watched every series and it was my dream to do the show.
“My doctor told me I needed an operation and I would be laid up for a month. That wasn’t an option.
“He told me to take it easy, not to lift anything heavy and not to do any new exercise I wasn’t used to.
“It was the lifting that he said would make the show very difficult. He warned that I could be rushed off for emergency treatment at any time. When I saw the BBC doctor to get on Strictly I just didn’t mention it.
“There is a lump that protrudes that I push back into my body and I did that before the examination.
“I got passed medically on to the show but it has been pretty difficult right through the competition.
“The pain has got worse and worse and the lump has got bigger. It really hurt every time I lifted Natalie, did a lunge or jumped down from the steps onto the stage. Sometimes Natalie would ask if I was in pain because I kept touching my groin. I would lie and just say I had pulled something.