His partner Eiri, 23-year-old Olympic gold swimmer Adam Peaty was eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing when he let out a sigh in relief.

Eiri had to confront her relationship with Peaty when he and Katya Jones dance partner, Peaty, almost kissed during a steamy Argentine tango. Eiri, an artist living with Adam and George’s one year old son, shares her Strictly experience through the eyes of a partner. Her observations may surprise you . . .

It’ll be a breeze compared to the OLYMPICS

August 5, 2008: Adam’s brother Adam and I are in our backyard, huddled around the radio as it is announced that Adam will take part in Strictly come Dancing this year. This news has been a secret for several weeks, but we are finally able to share our joy.

We hug one another and Adam’s brother teases him about his chances of winning — his talents in the water are indisputable but on the dance floor? We’ll just say that he isn’t Rudolf Nureyev. . .

'Adam's dance partner is Katya Jones. All we know about her is that she's extremely competitive and an incredible choreographer. If he wants to do well, she tells him, they will need to rehearse for 12 hours every day. Gulp'

Katya Jones is Adam’s partner in dance. She is a very competitive dancer and choreographer. She tells him that if he is to succeed, they must rehearse 12 hours per day. Gulp’

This experience will be much easier than the Olympics. Adam’s five-week stay in Tokyo is unlikely to have any impact on our family. He also did all of the training in preparation for the games. This relief comes as a welcome surprise since I’ve mostly been home with George since September 2020.


September 11th: Adam celebrated his son’s 1st birthday by being at the rehearsal room since yesterday to tape the pre-recorded dance-partner-reveal show. It will air on Saturday.

After spending many days saying hello and goodbye over FaceTime while he was away in Tokyo, it is not what I want for Adam to need to wish George Happy Birthday through his smartphone screen.

Katya is Adam’s dancing partner. She is a very competitive dancer and choreographer. He will have to practice for twelve hours each day in order to succeed, she says. Gulp. It’s still a lot more than the twelve hours per week that we had hoped for.

Since I have never been a Strictly fan, I don’t know much about Katya.

Adam and I share a strong bond. Evidently, I have heard about the “Strictly Curse”. Strangers have been sending me messages via social media since August, when rumors began that Adam might be appearing on the show.Adam is about to abandon you. for his partner in dance’.

Adam is a father figure and he’s a man I can trust so it doesn’t worry me.


September 25, 2009: Week one is over. Although no one will go tonight, judges scores will carry forward to the next week. Voting goes public on Monday. Adam, a competitive Olympian, wants to give his all at the cha-cha.

Even though he is an athlete, he has been exhausted after rehearsals.

I cook his favourite meals — cottage pie, with steak pieces instead of mince, and grilled steak with vegetables — which we eat on the sofa, with Sauvignon Blanc.

Eiri found her own relationship with the swimmer under public scrutiny when Peaty and his dance partner Katya Jones, appeared to almost kiss during a steamy Argentine tango

Peaty was a swimmer and Eiri had to deal with him in private.

George spends the night with his grandmother, while I go to see it with my friends. It’s amazing how anxious I get when the show’s intro music begins. I’m used to seeing him compete on TV but usually he’s swimming — and wins gold medals for that!

No one can deny that it is awkward to watch my partner get up close with another woman in public, particularly on live television, before millions of viewers.

It’s natural to feel uneasy. Adam and me have discussed this and we both know that intimacy with each other is part of the show and it’s not something to be avoided.

And, woo-hoo — all his hard work pays off! All four judges praise his footwork — even the critical Craig Revel Horwood seems smitten saying: ‘I was glued to every inch of movement darling, you couldn’t get my eyes off it’ — and he and Katya come joint second on the leader board.


October 2/3: Tonight I have a ringside seat — and cannot wait. My sister Abigail (20) and I will be watching live on the BBC Elstree studios. Adam performs a stunning quickstep to Are you Gonna Be my Girl, and I smile like a Cheshire Cat throughout.

Katya is a lovely person whom I met for the first-time.

It’s more fun to be there when Katya and Adam do their quickstep than it is watching them from the comfort of your own home. Although they finish second, Shirley Ballas says it best when she tells Adam that she is not satisfied with their performance and that she is 100 percent competitive.

Adam and I drive home in our car together, arriving back around 2am. And he did it — only just, as he’s one point from the bottom of the leaderboard — and is through to next week!


October 9/10: Adam sends me this photo of Adam looking hot dressed as Avatar. This is my favorite of his Strictly costumes. It’s my favorite of all his Strictly costumes. I couldn’t resist telling my Instagram followers: “Let me now tell you. . . You’re not yet ready. Be proud of yourself baby. Yes, I am. Because he works so hard, he walks slowly to the door and his socks and shoes are ripped off.

George runs to the television, shakes his bottom and shouts ‘Daddy!, as Adam appears on-screen. All these days of feeling single mother make all the hard work worthwhile when he smiles with delight.

The judges weren’t impressed by Adam’s rumba. Katya and Katya finish last on the leaderboard. However, they survive the dance-off and will fight again next week.


October 16th: Adam reminded me last night of the Argentine tango’s’very sexy dancing’. It was fine. I could handle it.

However, watching it unfold at home with mum is intense.

I then decide to look at what Twitter users have to say about it. Evidently Adam did not go in for the kiss.

Friends and relatives start messaging me to ask if it’s okay, clearly influenced by online information. Even strangers send me messages, telling me that I should leave Adam. Don’t you think performing on Strictly is akin to acting?

Adam’s partner is hard to watch. But I understand that they need to commit 100% to their role in order to win the contest.


October 17, 2018: Humour is the best approach to most problems in life. Last night, TikTok posted a video of me crying while pretending to be a boyfriend. It turned out that it was also seen by 10 million others.

It is amazing to me that this video was viewed 8 million times, and liked by 990,000.

And the messages are flooding in — I have literally thousands of them, most from complete strangers — many of them positive but a proportion that are negative. Adam did nothing wrong, I am certain. They could have suggested that I should break up with Adam because of the dance.

These comments make it seem like people forget they are human beings and not just fictional characters. These comments are difficult to take and made me cry at the cruelness of their words. While I am grateful George can’t comprehend what is going on, it’s also very sad to see him so mad at me.


October 20, Adam was so supportive and strong, but he is also confused by being accused of doing something that he did not do. He’s really trying to figure out how to get around it.

His dance partner can find it difficult too so George and Katya go out to rehearse and we have dinner with them. We also enjoy a few glasses of wine in a charming gastropub.

It’s nice to get to know Katya and make up my own mind about her — away from the pernicious influence of internet trolls. George is a huge fan of her warm personality and she’s so friendly. The reactions of people to the tango are not discussed. We’re all so upset by the backlash that we prefer to just have fun with it.


September 23-24, 2014: Another scandal! All eyes are on Adam’s trousers and the accusations that his staff make them shorter every week. Victoria Coren (TV presenter) suggests that Adam needs some assistance to remove his pants. Then other women comment on his muscular legs.

Do I feel jealous? No! In fact, seeing these women professing love for Adam, and his bottom, makes me smile — and I’m even prouder to call him mine.

'There's no denying it's a bit awkward seeing my partner getting up close and personal with another woman, especially on live TV, in front of millions of people'

“It’s awkward to see my partner get up close with another woman on TV in front of thousands of viewers.

I’d love to have this conversation, regardless of last week’s violence, anytime.

Adam also gets a standing ovation from the audience — hurrah — but the judges seem less impressed with his samba and he ends up third from bottom.


October 31/31 Adam is excited to perform the Viennese Waltz. It’s his first slow-ballroom dance. While I won’t let Adam know that I’m concerned, I feel the judges prefer Katya and him to do more upbeat routines.

Aargh! He is in the bottom 2 and has to dance against Loose Man Judi Love. When he makes it to the next week, I let out a massive sigh.

After rehearsals, a photo of Adam and Katya embracing in a parking lot emerges later online. Adam and me share this article and we laugh. I take it that the article is romantic. It should therefore be of great concern to me. You can easily blow things out the proportions.


November 7th: My friends and I are at a bonfire celebration. We all meet around our phones in the yard to watch Strictly.

Adam and Katya perform a jive to Little Bitty Pretty One by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers. Even though I felt sick to see them in the bottom two competing against Tilly RAMsay in the dance-off competition, both of us knew it would be unlikely that he would win. Keep your fingers crossed for Tomorrow night’s outcome.


November 8, Adam has been released! It’s so hard to watch him crying on television and be there for him. When we speak he’s as shocked as me by the tears — he’s not a crier!

Adam’s mom suggests that the solution was an accident. There’s a lot of motherly love there — she thinks he’s the best at everything — and if George is ever in that position I’ll no doubt feel the same.

It’s true, Katya’s partner, and I as the mother of her child, are devastated. I admit that it’s a bittersweet moment. Adam was long past due for a break after all the drama and juggling.

I find it disturbing that some people think I’m happy for Adam and Katya to end their journey.

'People seem to forget that we're real people, not fictional characters, when they make these comments. They are hard to bear and I burst into tears at the cruelty of the comments'

These comments are made by people who seem to have forgotten that they’re not imaginary characters and real people. It is hard to bear, and I was able to cry from the sheer cruelty of these comments.

People are suggesting online that I’m happy they’re no longer spending time together — but in fact I can’t wait to invite Katya over for dinner.

Katya is the reason I am angry and upset. I wish Adam and Katya to stay friends. I also want Adam and Katya to continue to live with us for many years.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor says her husband had counselling during her stint on Strictly in 2013 — they were uncomfortable with all the talk of her and dancer Brendan Cole being a ‘couple’ — and I totally sympathise with them.

This was not about Adam and Katya’s friendship. It was more to do with the pressures that result from the many rumors and comments people make on social media. The challenge has been greater than anyone could have anticipated.

We would agree as a whole family to watch the Olympics.

Helen Carroll, as told