‘Mum was so strong… but she died in my arms just weeks ago’: Strictly’s Lisa Riley’s secret pain and why she finds it so hard to meet the perfect man
She may have wowed on her debut on Strictly with her vibrant cha-cha, but inside actress Lisa Riley was hiding a secret pain.
Her mother Cath, 57, died in her arms just weeks before Lisa started in Strictly, after losing her long battle with cancer.
But the former Emmerdale actress says she owes her beloved mother a lot – and credits her fiery personality as one of her mother’s lasting legacy.
And Lisa, 36, tells of her mother’s courageous battle with the cancer that eventually claimed her life.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, she said her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 years ago, and given just three or four years to live.
But the disease ripped though her mother’s body.
‘She was so strong and she responded well to her second bout of chemo. She used to say to me “I look into my babies eyes and I am not going anywhere”‘
But as Cath deteriorated, Lisa recalls her mother died in her arms after the whole family gathered together.
And Lisa recalls she tenderly wrote her mother’s eulogy, and although it was meant to last five minutes, it ended up being 22.
Despite her mother dying before she got to watch Lisa perform on Strictly, the actress’ said her mother was pleased she landed the BBC 1 show.
Lisa said: ‘Before her death she knew I had got Strictly and she was elated.’
And although the star is one of the larger contestants, she warns her critics not to write her off too soon.
She said: ‘Viewers don’t expect fat people to be able to dance. But I have got rythum, I am a funky, little chunky girl.’
The star, who said she will do anything to avoid becoming the Anne Widdecome of the competition, loves her partner Robin Windsor, 33, and said the pairing was perfect as they compliment each other.
But as for the star’s love life, the actress, who is single, said she finds it hard to meet men who love her simply for her.
And the flirty star said she has been been burnt before by cruel men who approach her for dares or those who simply want some of her success to rub off on them.
But for the time being the gorgeous dancer is concentrating on the competition and said she would love to win.