Strictly's Dan Walker pays tribute to dance partner Nadiya for putting 'big smile' on his face

STRICTLY star Dan Walker paid tribute to dance partner Nadiya Bychkova yesterday, saying: “She puts a big smile on my face.”

The BBC Breakfast presenter spoke after she consoled him when he broke down on the tenth anniversary of the death of his pal Gary Speed.

The Sun told yesterday how Dan, 44, had just watched a rerun of a Football Focus interview he did with former Wales manager Gary the day before he killed himself.

He was seen sobbing on 32-year-old Nadiya’s shoulder as they hugged backstage.

Ahead of their tango on last night’s show, he said: “We enjoy each other’s company.

"She makes me laugh and I think she’d say she’s learned a lot from me and I’ve learned a lot from her.

“I think our attitude is very similar.

"I know I’m not the best dancer in the world but what she’s taught me is that I can actually dance and just go out there and have the best possible time with a big smile on my face.”

The dad of three admitted he did not even dance at his wedding to university sweetheart Sarah.

He said: “I do distraction tactics, I do messing around on the sides.

“We’ve been married 20-odd years now and it has always been our plan to have a party for our 25th anniversary.

🔵 Read our Strictly Come Dancing live blog for the latest updates

“I would love for us to do a dance together and make up for my lack of wedding-day dancing.”

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