Brian hit by shoulder agony
Emmanuel Smith had also had a deprived childhood.
The contestant, who came here from Africa as a child, told us: “When I came to the UK, my mum gave birth three weeks later and we were all sharing one bed. That was a tough beginning. Will had a similar story so he understood the struggle.”
“I grew up in Peckham. At that time it was a rough area. I went to school in east London so it took me away from gangs.
“It was a tough upbringing because I was a French boy from Africa. People laughed at my accent. But my mum instilled in me to push through no matter what.”
Emmanuel has picked
Will to be his mentor on the show.
SAIRA Khan is struggling to cope behind the scenes at Dancing On Ice.
The Loose Women star is so crippled by nerves she has suffered a string of panic attacks.
In an emotional interview, Saira said: “I’ve been training for months but every time I go on the ice there is a feeling of vulnerability, nervousness and anxiety. There are moments where I’ve thought, ‘I just can’t do this’.
“I’ve had panic attacks. It first happened when we were in rehearsals. I suddenly thought, ‘What am I doing here?’.
“I felt physically sick. I had shortness of breath. I do not know what came over me. My skating partner Mark Hanretty had never seen me like that. He was really worried.
“Before that, whenever people have told me they were having a panic attack, I’d just tell them to deal with it. I’d be thinking ‘get over yourself’. I couldn’t really empathise with them because I’d never experienced anything like it.
“But now when I see someone who is anxious I am able to help them because I’ve been through it myself.”
Saira is gearing up to face her BRIAN McFadden’s future on Dancing On Ice is hanging in the balance after injuries left him unable to skate.
The presenter, 38, damaged his shoulder and was forced to pull out of rehearsals yesterday.
Producers fear his debut routine in tonight’s live show will have to be scrapped at the 11th hour.
A show spokesman last night said: “Brian had an injury. He’s partially dislocated his shoulder and damaged his rotator cuff and he cannot rehearse anymore.”
Brian is getting round-the-clock support from show fears when she performs her first routine tonight.
The presenter is still battling severe anxiety.
She said: “I am really nervous about the show. There is a lot of pressure. Even just talking about it now makes me feel shaky – I feel like I’m starting to have a panic attack.
“Mark has given me coping mechanisms. He’s the only person I want around me when I’m struggling.
“But the problem I have is I’ve been brought up in a culture where you’re told, ‘You’re not as good as you think you are’.
“You’re brainwashed into medics. Experts are set to assess his injuries this afternoon and decide if he can perform his routine with skating partner Alex Murphy.
A show insider said: “This is a nightmare for producers. It has thrown the live show into chaos. “They won’t know until the last minute whether Brian will be able to take part.
“There are concerns he’ll have to pull out altogether, which would mean the show losing one of its biggest names.” thinking you can’t do well. So I’ve had to undo all that and realise I’ve got a bit of potential. I need to keep my nerves in check. I need to make sure I don’t get distracted by how good other people are. Then I’ll be OK.”
Saira is also worried about getting a roasting from the judging panel – including acidtongued Jason Gardiner.
She’s already been slated by him after last week’s group routine.
Saira said: “Jason doesn’t hold back. When we did a group dance last weekend he said we were all awful. I thought, ‘Oh thanks – that’s not exactly going to encourage me or build my confidence up’.”
At 48, Saira is one of the oldest contestants this series.
And she is worried she could suffer a serious injury.
She said: “Falling over could be serious for me. I’m nearly 50 so it’s not a case of just getting bruises – I could break a bone. If I have a really serious injury it could mean I can’t work.”
Bookies have made Saira one of the outsiders.
Paddy Power have her at 50/1 to win, which puts her ahead of only Didi Conn.
Other celebs skating for survival for the first time tonight include Wes Nelson, Melody Thornton, Richard Blackwood, Ryan Sidebottom and Brian McFadden.
GROWING PAINS: Will NERVES: Saira with Mark as she prepare for the big night TOUGH: Jason Gardiner
SHOW FEARS: Brian gets treatment