ashley-roberts

Ashley Roberts surprised by mother on Strictly following family tragedy

Ashley's father died earlier in the year

Hollie Richardson

Ashley Roberts was joined by her mother on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing, after the star revealed her heartache over her father's suicide. Ashley's mum made the surprise visit when she joined her daughter in the rehearsal studio before cheering her along in the audience on the live show, watching Ashley dance the Cha Cha Cha with Pasha Kovalev. Former Pussycat Doll Ashley had previously revealed in the week that she lost her father to suicide in March this year. The 37-year-old told The Sun: "It's been a really tough year and I know my dad would be super proud of me. I think about him when I'm dancing, and of course he is with me on that dance floor. He’s definitely with me throughout this experience."

Ashley hugs her mum in rehearsals

Talking about life after her dad, who was the drummer in 60s band Mamas and Papas, Ashley said: "This year has helped me to grow. It’s shown me what I love in life and that’s why I’m beyond grateful to be on this show. I’ve found my inner strength.” When her mum arrived from Arizona, Ashley hugged her and described her as, "Special, beautiful and kind," before adding: "It just means the world to me that she's here." Pasha then danced with her mum around the rehearsal studio!

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Ashley and Pasha wowed with their Cha Cha Cha

Ashley, who has also taken part in I'm A Celebrity, also recently defended her casting for the show despite having dance experience with the Pussycat Dolls. She said: "People obviously know what I did with the Dolls. We were running around the world, booty-popping for days. This is a new skill, and I'm just really grateful to be here. I'm very excited to be learning a new skill. Hopefully, I'll go out there and do alright – we'll see, this is going to be new for me."

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