Strictly Come Dancing's AJ Pritchard has opened up about the horrible attack he and his brother were subjected to last week, revealing that his brother Curtis saved his life by stepping in and trying to stop the eight men that were tackling him.
"Curtis risked his own dancing career to save mine as he threw himself in front of the attackers so they couldn't get to me. He was thinking of both my dancing career with my legs and my TV career with my face," he told The Sun. "He tried to protect me and in doing so saved my life and my legs from danger."
Whilst AJ received bruising to his face, arms, body and legs, his brother Curtis, who is also a professional dancer, will need to undergo an emergency operation to correct damage to his knee. Speaking to the publication, Curtis has admitted he is worried the injuries he sustained in the unprovoked attack will prevent him from dancing again.
Following the news of the attack, AJ was inundated with messages of support from his fellow colleagues. Neil Jones sent his support on both Twitter and Instagram, tweeting on Friday evening: "Disgusting what happened to @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard and I hope they catch everyone involved." On Saturday morning, he posted a photograph of himself and AJ on Instagram, adding a lengthy tribute to him.
"My thoughts are with @aj11ace and his brother @curtispritchard12 and their friends. It is sick what is happening in this world and country when you can’t just have a nice night out with friends without some stupid, weak cowards ruining everything," he wrote. "I hope the police find who is responsible and if anyone remembers anything be strong and contact the police because these [explicit] need to be made accountable for their actions and let’s hope they name and shame plus make an example of them all. AJ and Curtis are two fun loving guys and they do not deserve this. Nobody deserves this."
Cheshire police has confirmed a 20-year-old man was arrested and released under investigation.