Despite being a regular on daytime television, Rachel Riley has revealed she suffered from stage fright during her time on Strictly Come Dancing. The mathematician, who appeared on the show in 2013 alongside current boyfriend Pasha Kovalev, confessed she struggled to perform due to the severity of her nerves. Speaking about mental health on podcast AudioBoom for Mental Health Monday this week, the 32-year-old explained: "I didn't think about any of these issues until I was on Strictly and I was getting stage fright."
Rachel Riley danced with now boyfriend Pasha Kovalev on Strictly in 2013
She added: "For the first time ever I spoke to someone who gave me CBT - Cognitive behavioural therapy - and from there I had to deal with stage fright and from that I learnt the power and the use of talking to someone." The TV star continued: "How you can change and think about things. How you view what you do yourself. The things you do in your life and how it can make you happier and better in the workplace."
Rachel, who often voices her opinion on mental health issues, revealed more should be done to support people in need of help. "You know, stress, loss of sleep, having your mind elsewhere is costing billions to the industry as well," she shared. "So not only is it a benefit to the individual, it is a benefit for the companies that provide help for people. There's still a stigma talking about mental health issues."
The TV star appeared in the 11th series of the BBC One ballroom dance show. At the time, Rachel was in her first year of marriage to high school sweetheart Jamie Gilbert; the former couple announced their split in November 2013, following her appearance on Strictly. A year later, she confirmed her romance with professional dancer Pasha.
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