Strictly’s AJ Pritchard and partner Team GB athlete Lauren Steadman fear early exit because they won’t have enough time to rehearse

STRICTLY pro AJ Pritchard and partner Lauren Steadman fear they have an unfair disadvantage over fellow couples as they won’t be able to rehearse together.

The Team GB athlete is jetting to Australia to compete in the paratriathlon World Championships and will return just days before the first round of the competition next Saturday.

AJ Pritchard and dance partner Lauren Steadman fear an early excited from Strictly Come Dancing
AJ Pritchard and dance partner Lauren Steadman fear an early exit from Strictly Come Dancing
PA:Press Association

And given AJ, 23, almost dropped Lauren on Saturday’s night’s official launch show, Strictly choreographers believe he faces a tough task to get their routine ready in time.

A Strictly insider said: “AJ knows they have a lot of work to do and faces arguably the toughest task out of all the pros. Both himself and Lauren know her disability won’t be a problem, but they still need to time to practice and they’re not going to get it.

“They know are already behind other couples and nobody wants the embarrassment of being the first act voted out – but they are determined not to be.”

Lauren, 25, was born without a complete right arm but managed pursue a career in sport, competing in the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics in swimming.

The pair will not be able to practice for first week of contest until days before the show
The pair will not be able to practice until days before the show
PA:Press Association
Lauren is a Team GB athlete
Lauren is a Team GB athlete
AJ dropped Lauren during Saturday night’s Strictly
Those hands on the right belong to Kevin Clifton – who stepped in to try and catch Lauren
She then regained her composure as she got on her feet

She has since switched to the paratriathlon and will be taking part in the ITU World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia while her rivals will be practising in the studios.

On the prospect of dancing with her disability, she said: “I think there will be difficulties with having one arm but I think it’s just a case of learning how to do things slightly differently or a different hold.

“There is always a way round it and the lifts that we did do two weeks ago, there were some things that I had to change slightly but not major changes.”


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