Sunday 18 August 2019

Strictly’s Davood Ghadami: I moved schools after bullying

The star said it was difficult to find support when he was a schoolboy.

Inside Soap Awards 2017
Inside Soap Awards 2017

By Francesca Gosling

Strictly Come Dancing star Davood Ghadami has told how he moved schools after facing relentless bullying.

The EastEnders actor, 35, said that his British-Iranian background led to name-calling from other pupils.

Describing himself as a “shy” child, he told how he struggled to find support.

Ghadami and Bychkova take the Strictly stage

He told the Mirror newspaper: “At the time there were fewer people of mixed backgrounds in schools… I wasn’t involved in anything physical but name-calling can be harder hitting when you’re a young lad.

“There were times it got too much I didn’t want to go to school any more.”

“I started somewhere new and it was much more accepting. But I hope bullying’s now being dealt with far better than when I was young.”

Ghadami – who plays Kush Kazemi in the BBC One soap – has wowed audiences with his performances on the channel’s dance show with partner Nadiya Bychkova and was this week named Sexiest Male at the Inside Soap Awards.

He explained how acting gave him an “outlet” for the emotions he could not voice openly before, and said it had helped to repair his confidence.

“It made me a little bit stronger,” he said. “Maybe it led me to where I am now, in part. Maybe I should be grateful.”

Ghadami and Bychkova have sailed quietly through the competition so far and are currently fourth on the leaderboard following their week seven American smooth to This Will Be (An Everlasting Love).

The actor has brushed away talk of the dreaded “Strictly curse” creeping in on his working relationship with Bychkova, who is new to the show this year, saying that the pair have a natural chemistry.

They will return to the Strictly stage when it airs live on BBC One at 6.45pm on Saturday, dancing a Charleston to The Lambeth Walk, by The Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

PA Media

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