Will Young Reveals Quitting Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 Was Career's "Hardest Point"

Will Young opens up about quitting 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2016 due to PTSD and panic attacks, highlighting the mental health struggles celebrities face. He's open to returning but wants a same-sex partner this time.

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Shivani Chauhan
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Will Young Reveals Quitting Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 Was Career's "Hardest Point"

Will Young Reveals Quitting Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 Was Career's "Hardest Point"

Will Young, the Pop Idol winner, has opened up about his decision to quit Strictly Come Dancing in 2016, calling it the "hardest point" of his career. Young, who was partnered with Karen Clifton for series 14 of the show, left the competition after just three weeks due to struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and constant panic attacks.

In a recent podcast interview, Young revealed that he was experiencing panic attacks "24 hours a day" during his time on Strictly. "I was really ill. I was dragging myself to the studio. I just couldn't do it anymore," he said. Despite doctors advising him not to participate in the show due to his mental health, Young ignored the warnings and competed anyway.

The singer described the intense anxiety he faced, which made even simple tasks like leaving the house to go to the corner shop extremely difficult. "I was agoraphobic. I was having panic attacks 24 hours a day. I was really ill and I just couldn't do it," Young shared.

Why this matters: Young's candid revelation illuminates the often-hidden struggles that celebrities face behind the scenes, particularly when it comes to mental health. His story functions as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing one's well-being, even in the face of professional opportunities or commitments.

Looking back, Young expressed regret over not being able to fully enjoy the Strictly experience due to his illness. "I wish I could have done Strictly without being ill as I love dancing," he said. However, he does not view his departure as a failure and remains proud of his longevity in the entertainment industry, having been in the music business for over 20 years.

Young also discussed the backlash he faced after winning Pop Idol in 2002, saying he felt unwelcome in the music industry for a long time. Despite the setbacks, he has persevered and continues to release new music, including his latest single "Falling Deep" and an upcoming album titled "Light It Up."

When asked about the possibility of returning to Strictly Come Dancing, Young said he would be open to the idea but would want to dance with a male partner this time. In recent years, the show has featured same-sex pairings, with contestants like Nicola Adams, John Whaite, and Jayde Adams all competing with partners of the same gender.

Will Young's decision to prioritize his mental health over his Strictly Come Dancing journey in 2016 was a difficult but necessary one. His openness about the challenges he faced while struggling with PTSD and panic attacks serves as an important reminder that even successful celebrities are not immune to mental health struggles. As Young continues to make music and consider future opportunities, his resilience and honesty remain an inspiration to fans and fellow performers alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Will Young quit Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 due to PTSD and panic attacks.
  • Young was experiencing panic attacks "24 hours a day" during his time on the show.
  • Young regrets not being able to fully enjoy the Strictly experience due to his illness.
  • Young faced backlash after winning Pop Idol in 2002 but has persevered in the industry.
  • Young is open to returning to Strictly Come Dancing, but would want a male partner.