Kristina Rihanoff praises Daniel O'Donnell's wife Majella for cancer charity work and says she is a 'hero'
Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff has described the wife of dancer partner Daniel O'Donnell a "hero".
Kristina (37) said she understands Daniel and Majella on a personal level as her mother is fighting breast cancer, similarly to Majella a year ago.
Kristina told RTE Radio One's Ray D'arcy show that she has met Majella, and their meeting went well.
"It went amazing. I think Majella, in my eyes, is a personal hero because I know what she went through and my mother actually has been going through the same problem as well, with the breast cancer and everything.
"Daniel has told me what she has done for the charity [the Irish Cancer Society] and everything. I think it's incredible. I think she is a woman, in my eyes, to admire.
"Being close to this problem with my mother... It's a difficult period of life when you're dealing with someone close to you who is sick and you don't know the outcome.
"So I think we all understand each other on a personal level," she said.
Kristina has courted controversy in the past after having relationships with boxer Joe Calzaghe and rugby player Ben Cohen.
Her relationship with Calzaghe lasted three years.
Kristina and Ben danced together in 2013's 'Strictly' - but news has recently emerged that they are now in a relationship, although it is understood it only began after Ben's marriage to wife Abby was over.
Kristina has featured on 'Strictly' for the past eight years.
Speaking to Ray D'Arcy today, she paid tribute to her singer partner Daniel.
"He's doing really well.
"[He is] a lovely lovely person and so dedicated - he hopes to do all his fans proud and wife Majella as well.
"I really hope we will do everyone proud."
Although a beginner when it comes to the world of ballroom dancing, Kristina said Daniel has an advantage as he is a singer and understands the "count".
Later in the interview, she laughed out lad when broadcaster Ray D'Arcy suggested some people believe "dancing is the vertical realisation of a horizontal desire".
"Is it? Well I don't know. Maybe it's what you guys say in Ireland. Maybe it's a whole different story. Maybe I should visit Ireland and learn some wisdom from you guys," she joked.
She told listeners that Daniel would be wearing something "sophisticated" for their first performance together this Saturday as he is a "proper gentleman".
However, she wouldn't divulge what type of dance they would be performing.
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