Entertainment

Strictly’s Joanne Clifton ‘in tears’ as knee condition leaves her struggling to walk


Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton said she was in absolute “tears” when she found out she suffered from severe arthritis.

The professional dancer suffers from osteoarthritis in both knees — a condition which she’d been diagnosed since winning the BBC competition with TV presenter Ore Odeba in 2016.

The 38-year-old star told Daily Mail’s Good Health: “I broke down in tears as dance was then my whole life”

She added: “My knees would make crackling noises. I used to laugh about it, I didn’t realise it was a medical condition.”

Joanne raised that her condition can severely limit her movement as the star said her joints could be so stiff that she finds difficulty getting out of the car.



Joanne Clifton
Joanne Clifton says her condition limits her day-to-day and she sometimes is unable to get out of her car without help

To support her, Joanne, the younger sister of Strictly’s Kevin Clifton, said she uses a gadget called the Car Door Mate to help her into the vehicle.

After winning the BBC competition with Ore, the professional dancer had chosen to leave the show the following year as the condition caused her chronic pain.

Looking back on her time in Strictly competing alongside Ore, Joanne’s knees had already taken the pain of intense training – their final show involved leaping on and off drum tops.



Joanne and Ore
Joanne and Ore snatched the Strictly crown in 2016

Despite winning the show that year, Joanne can be seen agonisingly hobbling up to host Claudia Winkleman after her last dance with Ore.

Reflecting on the dance, she said: “I was a bit silly — I put a great idea ahead of my own condition.”

“I’d been told when I was diagnosed in 2015 to avoid high-impact movements. We’d been practicing jumping all week.”



Joanne Clifton
The star has taken a back-seat from dancing competitively

Despite winning the show that year, Joanne can be seen agonisingly hobbling up to host Claudia Winkleman after her last dance with Ore.

The star previously admitted that her condition made her feel ‘old’, but now she wants to educate people that osteoarthritis can happen at any age.

Despite her diagnosis, Joanne is still performing and currently plays Morticia Addams in the touring musical The Addams Family.

She said: “I am still dancing but not as full-on as the competition world. I can’t really get up quickly off the floor anymore so I either need someone to help me or I don’t go down on the floor, and I stay up and do something.”

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