Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard ‘hires bodyguard after night club attack’

Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard has hired a bodyguard after being attacked on a night out.

AJ and brother Curtis – who himself is a pro dancer on the Irish version of Strictly – were set upon by a group during an evening out on Boxing Day.

The pair suffered bleeding and bruising in the unprovoked attack, with Curtis needing surgery on his knee.

Now sources say that AJ has hired protection ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing live tour starting later this month.

An insider told The Sun newspaper: “AJ has hired a bodyguard to protect him over the coming weeks. He has been left traumatised by the assault, and while his confidence is growing he feels really nervous about the idea of going out in public.

“He’s worried about a possible revenge attack and wanted to have someone with him for the next month or so to help make him feel safe again.

The source also reported that AJ and Curtis were walking with police to try and identify suspects of the attack via social media.

A spokesperson for AJ said: “AJ is 100 per cent looking forward to being out on tour and performing with Lauren all over the UK.”

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning this week, AJ recalled the attack: “I think the really sad thing is we were out to have a good time, see each other as brothers and it came from nowhere. We weren’t there to cause trouble….

“As much as it was a very violent situation, it happens way too often. It’s sad to know this is a normal thing which has to stop. You can’t just allow people to get away with it.”

His brother Curtis suggested: “I can only say it was maybe jealousy. AJ was getting photos from people.”

Meanwhile, following the attack, it’s been revealed that Curtis had been forced to withdraw from Irish TV show Dancing With The Stars due to his injuries.

A spokesperson for the show said: “Dancing with the Stars pro-dancer Curtis Pritchard was involved in an incident on 26 December 2018. As a result of the injuries sustained, he will not have recovered in time for the launch of the new series, which will air 6 January 2019.

“A replacement for Curtis on the show is currently being arranged and we look forward to welcoming Curtis back when he recovers.”