How Strictly star Ashley Roberts is fulfilling tragic dad’s wish

Ashley Roberts’ tragic dad had longed for his daughter to appear on Strictly Come Dancing, a pal of the star revealed today.

Singer Kimberley Wyatt said Pat Roberts, 69, who took his own life earlier this year, would be proud of his girl – favourite to win the show.

Kimberley, 36, who co-starred with Ashley in the Pussycat Dolls, said: “The one thing her dad always wanted her to do was Strictly.

“He loved the show and he knew that she could shine on it.

“It felt like all the stars aligned and it was destined to be.”

Ashley, 37, dedicated her contemporary dance last weekend to her dad and left many in tears – including head judge Shirley Ballas.

Kimberley praised her friend for getting through the past few weeks while still grieving for her dad.

Speaking at Sky Q’s Netflix launch, she added: “Ashley did that brilliant dance last week in honour of her dad and his passing.

“To have the opportunity to do that was fantastic. It left me in tears for the rest of the night. It was just beautiful.”

Other highlights included Faye Tozer’s paso doble with Giovanni Pernice and Graeme Swann’s jazz dance with Oti Mabuse.

Singing superstar Gloria Estefan appeared and pro dancer Aljaz Skorjanec had fans giggling when he arrived in giant Blackpool specs.

Ashley, meanwhile, has faced some criticism for being at an unfair advantage having danced for years with the Pussycat Dolls.

But Kimberley leapt to her defence and said: “Ballroom is a completely different world. To learn it and do it properly takes a whole lot. Ashley is throwing herself into it. And she’s been smashing it.

“Having dance training doesn’t mean you always win. If anything it means you’ve got a handicap because people hold that against you.”

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