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Strictly star breaks silence after missing tour dates due to 'major medical meltdown'

Broadcaster Angela Rippon was paired with Kai Widdrington when she competed last year

Several dancers and celebrities
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
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Angela Rippon won the hearts of the nation on last year's Strictly Come Dancing when she proved that age wasn't a barrier to doing what you love.

The 79-year-old was one of the contestants who embarked on the Strictly Live Tour, however, the broadcaster missed the most recent dates on the tour after having a "major medical meltdown". Breaking her silence on why she had to step back from the show, Angela explained all in a video which you can watch below…

WATCH: Angela Rippon opens up about 'major medical meltdown' after missing tour dates

"As some of you may know I suffered a major medical meltdown at the beginning of the week," Angela explained. "When we were in Liverpool, I managed I managed to pick up an infection that went straight to my chest.

"It affected by breathing very badly and as some of you may know I do suffer from asthma. And on Wednesday evening when I was about to go on and dance the cha-cha-cha, I'm afraid the infection triggered a serious asthma attack and when I started to dance, I stopped breathing."

Tess Daly, Angela Rippon CBE and Kai Widdrington on Strictly © BBC
Angela opened up how she 'stopped breathing'

Angela said that the experience was "scary" for both her and professional partner Kai Widdrington as she confessed to being a "ragdoll on the dancefloor" following the attack.

The veteran presenter confirmed that when she left the stage, paramedics were able to supply her with oxygen. Although Angela was well enough to travel to Leeds for the next stop on the tour, she was stopped by the "company doctor" who was concerned about the strength of the infection that the star had picked up.

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington stood back-to-back© Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock
Angela and Kai are a fan-favourite pairing

Angela was then placed on two days of bed rest, but the star informed her fans that she felt "dancing fit" and that she was looking forward to "ripping it up" on the dancefloor once again.

The broadcaster then joked she needed to find her professional partner as they had "work to do".

Kai Widdrington & Angela Rippon on Strictly Come Dancing© Guy Levy
Angela showed off her legendary legs on the show

Fans flooded the comments with supportive messages, as one said: "Oh blimey Angela! Take good care of yourself, great to see that you have medical marvels on standby when needed!" and fellow Strictly star Angela Scanlon added: "Queen Ang. Back with a bang."

Angela made history as the oldest ever contestant to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, and opening up about the moment, she told HELLO!: "I don't really think about my age very much. I really don't. It's a number on a piece of paper. As far as I'm concerned. I have met a lot of older ladies saying, 'Oh, we're so pleased you're doing this.'

Angela Rippon and Kai Widdrington on Strictly © BBC
We're glad that Angela is much better!

"I was in Waitrose at the checkout loading up my groceries and the lady next to me in the queue, she said 'I just want to say that all of my friends, we say that women of our age and our hair colour we're very often invisible.' So yeah, so I'm not thinking about my age, I've just been thinking about whether I can do the steps."

RELATED: Strictly's Angela Rippon, 79, shares secret anxiety battle

MORE: Queen Camilla is 'Strictly's greatest fan' as she vows to take up tap dancing

Angela lasted for nine weeks in the ballroom competition and wowed audiences with her never-ending legs as she displayed some incredible splits during her time on the show.

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