Saturday 23 February 2019

Injured, exhausted and eliminated, but 'Dancing Dessie' has no regrets

Des Cahill with Karen Byrne
Des Cahill with Karen Byrne

Des Cahill quickly became an audience favourite on Dancing With The Stars.

However, Dancing Dessie has revealed that, behind-the-scenes, there was a huge amount of work involved in the hit show.

The RTE sports presenter said anyone considering throwing their hat into the ring for season two had better be prepared to put in the hours.

"The amount of time involved in the show is ridiculous," he said.

"Two of the female contestants actually moved out of their homes for a while because they couldn't combine work with family life. People have no idea of the personal toll.

"My wife Caroline suffered - I wasn't home, she hasn't seen me at all, so I'd like to thank her for all her support."

Contestants started work on the show in January, and Des often had to do double shifts.


He said that on some days he would have a 4.40am wake-up call in order to be at RTE for Morning Ireland, and afterwards would have to go straight to rehearsals with partner Karen Byrne.

Weekends were even busier for him as he had to present RTE's Saturday Sport before the final run-through ahead of Sunday night's show.

He also sustained a knee injury that he said would need "long-term treatment" but, despite all the trials, he said he would do it all again in a heartbeat.

"It was fantastic. In the scheme of my life it's not the most important thing that's happened in any way, but it was very, very special. Everything about this was so positive. I have some lovely memories and lovely photographs," he said.

His favourite week was performing the Marino Waltz, but he reckons it was his Austin Powers-inspired dance that struck a chord.

"I'll probably be remembered for the Dessie Swim. I look so geeky in it and it's the photograph that's followed me everywhere," he said.

The Dubliner made his exit ahead of this weekend's semi-final, which will see ex-Fair City star Aoibhin Garrihy, boy band singer Dayl Cronin, Red Rock actress Denise McCormack and former Kerry GAA star Aidan O'Mahony competing for a place in the final.

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