Strictly’s Claudia Fragapane: ‘Louise Redknapp is like a mum to me!’

The Olympic gymnast tells us how she's too busy to date


by Jane Oddy |
Published on

She's made it to the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final, but all the hard work waltzing on the dance floor means that Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane has no time for love.

The 19-year-old tells Closer: "I'm too busy for a boyfriend at the moment - I'm training all the time! I've got a lot on my plate. But I don't mind, I'm loving every minute of the show.


"My dad joked that I was banned from having a boyfriend until I was 25 but he didn't mean it. He'll totally support me if I do have one."

And at 4ft 6, Claudia has only one requirement for a man - they must be taller than her. She laughs: "At my height that isn't hard really - most people are!"


Competing with new pro dancer AJ Pritchard, 21, the pocket rocket is the youngest on the show and admits that the other contestants all want to mother her - in particular, former Eternal star and mum-of-two, Louise Redknapp, 42.

She says: "Louise is like a second mum to me which I love! She's beautiful, down-to-earth, and looks after me. Ed Balls was definitely the dad of the group.

"He's so funny and makes me laugh. We're really like a big family - and I'm the baby. I get spoilt - that's my kind of family!"

Bristol-based Claudia, who competed at the Rio Olympics, says that Strictly has been life-changing for her: "My confidence has grown so much. I'd never even taken a train on my own until now!

"It's completely changed me as a person. Plus, I can take all the dance techniques I've learnt and put them back into my gymnastics. Strictly has inspired me to do the 2020 Olympics now and I'm working towards that. I want to go for gold!"

Are you rooting for Claudia to win Strictly Come Dancing 2016? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter (@CloserOnline).

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