Jack Whitehall has revealed his father, Michael Whitehall, turned down an invitation to appear on Strictly Come Dancing as he was ‘worried about the curse’.
The actor and comedian appeared on BBC’s The One Show alongside Jamie Laing this evening when he made the surprise revelation.
Presenters Angelica Bell and Harry Judd of McFly asked Jack if he would ever take part in the show himself, but the actor quickly dismissed the idea.
He revealed, however, that ‘the weirdest request’ had come from the Strictly producers as they asked his dad to participate.
‘My dad got asked to go on Strictly,’ he said. ‘I think I was asked to do it some years ago but I wasn’t able to do it, so they said “Let’s get Whitehall senior because he’s the real star of the family.”
‘But he turned it down because he was worried about the curse. Genuinely, that was his reason for not doing it!’ he said as the studio erupted into laughter.
‘I said “I don’t think you need to worry about that, you’re 81 years old!”‘.
For those not in the know, the ‘Strictly curse’ is the term used to describe the – strangely common – phenomenon of individuals taking part in the show who are already in relationships, who end up finding romance with fellow participants.
One of the most significant cases of the Strictly curse of recent years occurred in 2018, when comedian Seann Walsh was photographed kissing his professional partner Katya Jones.
Katya was married to fellow dancer Neil Jones at the time, while Seann was in a relationship with actor Rebecca Humphries, which led to both couple’s eventually splitting.
Travels With My Father star Michael has been happily married to his wife Hilary, Jack’s mother, since 1986, but he clearly put enough stock in the legendary curse that he wasn’t willing to risk it.
The One Show conversation turned to Strictly after Jamie described his new show, Like The Way You Move, as a mix between Love Island and the popular dancing competition.
Also on the show, Jack and Jamie were asked to share embarrassing stories about one another, with Jamie regaling viewers of the time a teenage Jack cried and told his parents after he saw his sister smoking a cigarette at a party.
Jack meanwhile told the tale of how he went on holiday with his girlfriend to the Maldives, where they were staying in a cabin on the ocean ‘in the middle of nowhere’ only to find that the Made In Chelsea star was staying in the cabin right next to him.
Describing the ‘traumatic experience’, Jack says he ‘locked himself in the bathroom’ and even suggested to his girlfriend that they might ‘have to leave the island’.
‘And having this discussion,’ he said, ‘I looked down… and the bathroom had this glass floor so you could look down into the ocean at all the fish swimming around.
‘And I see him with the snorkel and the goggles, doing the backstroke and waving up through the bathroom floor!’
‘I couldn’t go to the loo for a week!’
The One Show airs weekdays from 7pm on BBC One.
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