Strictlys Adam Thomas on the role that helped him cope with death of his father

Adam Thomas talks about joining the Strictly line-up

Strictly’s Adam Thomas has opened up on how playing Donte Charles in Waterloo Road’s reboot has helped him to deal with grieving for his father.

The BBC school-based drama ran for nine years and ended in 2015 before its return earlier this year.

Along with a wave of new faces, fans were thrilled to see Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths reprise their roles as lovebirds Donte Charles and Chlo Grainger.

However, their romance was cut short in the new series as Chlo unexpectedly died in the first episode, leaving Adam and their two children behind.

As Donte struggled to navigate his way through losing his wife while supporting their kids, Adam Thomas confessed some of the acting mirrored what he was going through in his personal life.

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With his dad dying in 2020, the actor told Bustle earlier this year Donte’s storyline hit close to home.

He said: “Going through that grieving process definitely helped me to deliver some of the performances throughout the series because it was something that was very close and very raw and truthful to me.

“I’d never realised that I was grieving so badly, as well. Understanding Donte’s grief helped me understand my own grief.

“I’m very thankful that this storyline came up because then it made me deal with my sh*t as well. It was a blessing in disguise.”

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Adam has previously spoken about being the first person to get to his dad after realising something was wrong.

Speaking about the tragedy on the Mancs On The Mic podcast, which he hosts alongside brothers Scott and Ryan, he revealed trying to save his life.

Trying to resuscitate him, Adam said: “I’m crying my eyes out going, ‘Come on, dad’. I’m jumping up and down on my dad, trying to save him.”

His dad Dougie was a 70s music legend and lead singer of Dougie James And The Soul Train, who toured with The Jackson Five for weeks.

With Adam’s dad being a musician, it’s possible one of his Strictly performances will be dedicated to him during his time in the competition.

Other stars competing include Les Dennis, Annabel Croft, Nigel Harman, Bobby Brazier and Jody Cundy.

Ellie Leach, Nikita Kanda, Angela Rippon, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Amanda Abbington, Layton Williams, Angela Scanlon, Eddie Kadi and Zara McDermott are all also competing.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer in autumn 2023 with further details about the air date and start time to be confirmed.

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