Strictly Come Dancing's Greg Rutherford plays down 'backstage meltdown' claims

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Strictly Come Dancing 2016 contestant Greg Rutherford has played down claims of a 'backstage meltdown'.

It was reported this morning that the sport star was left "livid" after his latest performance was criticised by Craig Revel Horwood on Saturday.

Craig even made Greg's pro partner Natalie Lowe cry with his comments about the pair's Rumba.

"Natalie, I felt like you were protecting Greg with this dance with wild, show-stopping positions and lines that are going to make the audience applaud," he said.

Natalie Lowe, Greg Rutherford
Natalie Lowe, Greg Rutherford

Craig added to the the pair: "I don’t feel I can judge this dance as a rumba. I can probably judge this as a showdance or a contemporary dance that’s passionate and engaging but sadly it wasn’t, for me – I think – to do with rumba."

According to the Daily Mirror, Greg had a "total meltdown" over the remarks and threatened to quit the show.

"Four people had to restrain him as he insisted that he was done with the show. He was properly kicking off, saying he was leaving, that they couldn’t treat Natalie like that," a source claimed.

However Greg laughed off the reports this morning, saying on BBC Breakfast: "It was really interesting reading the whole article this morning because apparently I was restrained or whatever else."

He said of the article: "I think 'restrained' comes from sitting outside with Natalie and us talking, being a bit sad, and there might have been a tear or two from the pair of us. I think that was the extent of where it went."

However Greg did admit to being upset with the comments from Craig.

He said: "This completely takes over your life, and when you really get into it you really want to do well. We really wanted to do well at the weekend and sadly it wasn't for everybody - especially one in particular."

Greg and Natalie went on to avoid the dance off Sunday night and will perform again this weekend.

“Greg is a natural sportsperson and as such has a desire to be the best in everything that he does," a friend of Greg's said. “His ambition to succeed is what drives him and he is very passionate about the competition.

Natalie Lowe, Greg Rutherford
Natalie Lowe, Greg Rutherford

"He threw everything into his rumba on Saturday night, so he was disappointed that he didn’t do as well as he had expected.”

The BBC didn't comment on the report.

Strictly Come Dancing is back Saturday night on BBC One.

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