Karim Zeroual: ‘Can’t believe I cried’ Strictly star talks moment he ‘messed up’ on show

Karim Zeroual: ‘Can’t believe I cried’ Strictly star talks moment he ‘messed up’ on show


Karim Zeroual, 26, admitted he “hated” the Viennese Waltz he performed with his Strictly Come Dancing partner Amy Dowden on the series last year. The television personality, who reached the final of the BBC show, explained he was “so gutted” to have made a mistake during the Ballroom routine and couldn’t believe that he “cried” over it.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, The Heat Is On: Sport Relief star revealed: “My main thing was to watch each dance back and be happy with it myself.

“There was a couple, like my Viennese Waltz, I hated, I cried on TV, I messed up and I was so gutted. 

“You put your life and soul into this show and you’re training all week and to go out on Saturday and put a foot wrong and I can’t believe I cried.” 

Karim added: “I was in tears, I was like ‘It’s the Viennese Waltz Karim pull yourself together!’ 

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The star went on to show his appreciation to fans for supporting him during his incredible Strictly journey.

He continued: “I didn’t expect to make it to the final and I’m literally so humbled because everyone was so amazing and it was a great final and a great series with amazing people and we got on really well.

“But I was so humbled to make it so far, I thank everyone for supporting and voting for me.”

Karim also opened up about taking part in the Sport Relief Namibia desert expedition and detailed his mixed emotions before embarking on the challenge.


He joined Frankie Bridge, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Louise Minchin, Rob Rinder and Samantha Womack in the expedition to raise awareness and fundraise for mental health services.

Karim divulged: “I think I’m quite excited because I love a challenge and it’s fun and the cause is amazing. 

“We want to make sure we cross the finish line and raise as much awareness for people to talk about mental health. 

“There are certain aspects I’m nervous about like sleeping in the desert, the wildlife, I’m such a city boy and snakes and scorpions scare me, my local wildlife is just a pigeon of one foot.”

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The CBBC host then surprisingly added he was concerned about the “endurance” aspect of the challenge in spite of his energetic Strictly performances.

He candidly added: “Also the cardio side of it, I’m good in short bursts but endurance wise… Louise is a triathlon superstar but I can do a two minute Jive. I don’t know if I can do 11 hours on a bike!”

Karim explained he wanted to complete the challenge in memory of his friend and Strictly co-star Caroline Flack, who tragically took her own life last month.

He revealed: “I’ve met Caroline a few times and it was really upsetting. Unfortunately, the lives that we’re living now it’s becoming too much of a common occurrence and Sport Relief and this trek couldn’t be coming at a better time.


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“There is a massive part of me that is doing this for Caroline because we met during Strictly and she supported me throughout my whole journey on It Takes Two.

“She actually picked me as her favourite and picked me as her winner so we became really close on It Takes Two. 

“It’s a tough time for me but I’m channeling my pain on this trek and we’ll be doing it for everyone, but there’s a part of me that will be doing it for Caroline as well.”

The Heat Is On: Sport Relief airs tonight at 8pm on BBC One. Money raised for Sport Relief will support people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world. Find out how you can get involved here.

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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