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Strictly's AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker reveal how they've formed such a close bond

AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker have become great friends

Emmy Griffiths

Strictly Come Dancing's AJ Pritchard and Saffron Barker have opened up about their close relationship in a new interview. Chatting to HELLO! at the Global Gift Gala, the pair chatted about how well they get along. Saffron said: "Honestly I never could have imagined it [being such close friend]. I think there's always this talk about how close everybody gets and you kind of just think 'Ahh really?' but it is really true, not only have become such good friends with AJ but I've become such good friends with so many of the other cast as well."

The pair opened up about their friendship

She also said that they became close after spending so many hours together in rehearsals, with AJ adding: "You go through the same situation, you perform in front of 12 million people, you have the same highs and the same lows and so you connect with somebody that you maybe wouldn't do in a normal way so we're obviously going to get closer and build that friendship."

Saffron also opened up about her back injury, which earlier this week she described as "agony". Speaking about rehearsals, she said: "[The back pain] definitely has affected rehearsals as we haven't been able to do as many hours as we would have liked or we have done previously, and as we've said it's only getting harder the competition so we have struggled but we're getting through it. Today, our last day's been successful – so yeah it's good."

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They also defended the judges following criticism for last week's scoring, with AJ explaining: "That's the judges, that's why they're there, to give their opinion and their facts, it's maybe not what I would do but that's why they're there and we love them for that… I think it's very sad that people go to that level and for me it's all about positivity. The show is a positive show there's no need to have that negativity."

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