‘I wasn’t present in my body’ Rachel Riley explains health issue after Pasha’s concerns

Rachel Riley surprised by Pasha for 3000th Countdown episode

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Countdown star Rachel Riley said she didn’t realise how much of a perfectionist she was until she took part on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 with Pasha Kovalev, 41. The 36-year-old said she was so involved with the competition that she felt she “wasn’t present” in her own body at one point.

She said: “I didn’t realise I was a perfectionist, punishing myself for mistakes, until I did Strictly.

“At one stage I felt like I wasn’t present in my body,” she wrote in an extract of her book titled At Sixes And Sevens: How To Understand Numbers And Make Maths Easy, serialised by the Mail Online.

Rachel said there was a point where she “couldn’t’ stop thinking” about a mistake she made in her Quickstep routine, which she performed again in the dance-off.

“The next week when the music started at the rehearsal Pasha looked at my face and said: ‘Are you there?'”

Concerned for her health, the professional dancer advised Rachel to seek help using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

The method is a psycho-social intervention that aims to reduce symptoms of various mental health issues, primarily depression and anxiety disorders.

She explained: “Something that shouldn’t be worrying you comes back. You relive it and it becomes far bigger than it actually was.”

Rachel said Pasha used the therapy himself and managed to give up smoking after just two sessions.

Last year, she told the publication that she still couldn’t watch the show as it “terrifies” her.

She does however still like to dance with her former Strictly partner turned husband.

“When Pasha and I go on holiday we always find a salsa club whether we are in Indonesia or LA or Cannes, wherever we are in the world,” she added.

The couple got together shortly after participating on the show in 2013.

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In 2019, they tied the knot while pregnant with their first baby Maven together.

Last year, the pair welcomed their second daughter named Noa.

Rachel announced the news on her Instagram page with a cute snap of her holding their newborn.

She wrote: “We have some news!

“Introducing Pasha’s newest dance partner – baby Noa was finally born, 15 days after her due date, late on Friday night to the sound of fireworks!

“She’s totally adorable and her big sister Maven has already tried welcoming her to the world by offering Oatly and pickles, we think that’s a good sign.

“Massive thanks to the wonderful home birth midwives team and my doula who looked after us all so well.”

The presenter is currently on maternity leave from Countdown, now fronted by Anne Robinson.

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