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Wales Online
Wales Online
Cathy Owen

BBC Strictly fans rush to Ellie Simmonds' defence after 'nasty' comments

Fans of Strictly Come Dancing have defended contestant Ellie Simmonds after "nasty" comments were posted online. They came after the Paralympian swimmer, who spent a lot of her childhood in Wales, took to the dance floor with partner Nikita Kuzmin.

They scored an impressive 26 out of 40, for their Cha-Cha, with head judge Shirley praising her timing and courage for starting the routine on her own.

But some viewers at home had commented that the dance was "awkward" to watch because of the height difference between Ellie and Nikita, and even suggested she might be given "sympathy votes". Viewers were quick to defend Ellie.


One, @napqueen3000, said: "Hate to break it to you, but if you find Ellie Simmonds difficult to watch because she's disabled, then you are abelist. She's so fun to watch! #Strictly #StrictlyRobots."

Another, @nosregis, commented: "If you're being unkind on here about Ellie Simmonds you're an absolute garbage person. #Strictly."

While @SmartCo83228303 added: "Anyone who says anything nasty about Ellie needs their head wobbled. That was so fun, lovely considerate choreography, well done Nikita and Ellie #Strictly."

Effy summed it up: "No doubt there will be trolls going for Ellie Simmonds. I’ll say this- why shouldn’t she get to dance? To try something new in front of millions takes a lot more bravery than keyboard warriors writing nasty comments anonymously. Rant over."

The five-time Paralympic gold medallist spent much of her teenage years in Swansea after moving there from her hometown of Walsall.

As part of the launch show each celeb filmed an introduction video during which they met their professional dance partner, and Ellie's was from Wales. See more of that here.

She said, "yes, I'm small, but I can do everything anyone else can", adding she was excited about her Strictly journey. Ellie and her partner Nikita Kuzman met up right after Ellie swam out of the lake and explained that the happiest days of her life were spent in Wales.

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