Strictly’s AJ Pritchard ‘hires bodyguard’ after nightclub attack

Strictly’s AJ Pritchard ‘hires bodyguard to make him feel safe again’ after he and brother Curtis were attacked by eight yobs in club

  • AJ, 24, is said to have hired bodyguards after he and Curtis, 22, were attacked by a group of thugs at a nightclub last Friday
  • On Wednesday’s edition of This Morning, the dancers recounted the incident, which has left Curtis unable to prep for the next season of Ireland’s Dancing With The Stars
  • AJ’s bruising was covered with make-up for the appearance, but he had been injured in the face, torso arms and legs 
  • A spokesperson for the brothers revealed that Curtis is to undergo an emergency operation to correct damage to his knee 

AJ Pritchard has reportedly hired a bodyguard after he and his brother Curtis were attacked by eight yobs in a nightclub last Friday.

The Strictly Come Dancing star, 24, is said to have recruited staff to make him ‘feel safe again’ following the incident with his younger sibling, 22, in Nantwich, Cheshire.

According to The Sun, the professional dancers have been called in by police to identify their attackers using social media.

Safety: AJ Pritchard has reportedly hired a bodyguard after he and his brother Curtis were attacked by eight yobs in a nightclub last Friday

A source told the publication: ‘AJ has hired a bodyguard to protect him over the coming weeks. He has been left traumatised by the assault, and while his confidence is growing he feels really nervous about the idea of going out in public.

‘He’s worried about a possible revenge attack and wanted to have someone with him for the next month or so to help make him feel safe again.


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‘The pair are keen to make sure the perpetrators are brought to justice and are working with the police to try to identify their attackers on social media’, they added.

MailOnline has contacted AJ’s representatives for further comment.

Support: The Strictly Come Dancing star, 24, is said to have recruited staff to make him ‘feel safe again’ following the incident with his younger sibling, 22, in Nantwich, Cheshire

On Wednesday’s edition of This Morning, AJ and Curtis appeared in their first TV interview since the attack.

Nursing his injuries, Curtis sat with a bandaged leg and a pair of crutches, with AJ, by his side, as they talked to hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.

And musing on the incident – which left Curtis with a severe knee injury – the younger of the brothers said he believed the thugs responsible for the attack were ‘jealous’ of AJ for his celebrity status and good looks.

Post-trauma: On Wednesday’s edition of This Morning, AJ and Curtis appeared in their first TV interview since the attack

Curtis said: ‘I can only say perhaps it was jealousy, because AJ was doing a couple of photos with people. He’s a good looking lad. I was the one getting asked to take the photos, which is fine.’

AJ then added: ‘If someone comes up to me and asks me for a photo, if they do it politely, I’m always going to say yes. [This incident] has made me very aware of putting myself in a scenario of larger crowds.

‘Obviously I’m doing the Strictly tour coming up and I will think twice…’

The pair were in their hometown of Nantwich, Cheshire when the incident took place – both spending the festive season at the family home.

Candid: Nursing his injuries, Curtis sat with a bandaged leg and a pair of crutches, with AJ, by his side, as they talked to hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes 

Recovery: Explaining his injuries, he said, ‘I tore the cartilage on the inside and the outside of my knee. I’ve had to pull out of Dancing With The Stars’

The brothers were out celebrating New Year’s Eve a few days early, before Curtis was due to head back to Ireland, where he is a pro on Dancing With The Stars, the Irish version of AJ’s show, Strictly Come Dancing.

Curtis has been forced to pull out of training following the attack, which took place at club Nakatcha.

Explaining his injuries, he said: ‘I tore the cartilage on the inside and the outside of my knee. I’ve had to pull out of Dancing With The Stars. 

‘They’re saying it’ll be around about three weeks before I can start walking on it fully and around about four to five weeks before I can start dancing on it.’

Aftershock: Curtis sported a bandaged knee and crutches

It’s said that there were up to eight men involved when the attack took place.  

‘The really sad thing in this scenario was that we were just out to have a good time, and it came from nowhere. There was none of us in the first place causing a hassle or anything, we were not there for that scenario, that’s what is really sad for us,’ AJ went on.

‘We weren’t there for trouble at all. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time. We wanted to spend Christmas together and have a good time.’


Keeping positive: The brothers have insisted that they won’t let it ruin the start of their 2019

Brothers in arms (and legs): ‘I’m lucky AJ was there, because if I was still stood where I was I would’ve been in a much worse way. AJ managed to get me out of the situation,’ Curtis recalled


Still smiling: AJ’s bruising was covered with make-up for the appearance, but he had been injured in the face, torso arms and legs

Curtis went on: ‘Once it happened, the first thing that came to my mind was, “We’re in trouble. AJ is in trouble. We need to get out of this situation.” We weren’t there to fight.

‘I’m lucky AJ was there, because if I was still stood where I was I would’ve been in a much worse way. AJ managed to get me out of the situation.

‘He managed to carry me off the floor and he managed to carry me to safety.’

Later on: The brothers later appeared on LBC, where they discussed the ordeal further

Curtis went on: ‘I basically got pushed and I turned to my left and I saw about four lads go to grab AJ and you know I wasn’t thinking about my career, I wasn’t thinking about anything’

Recounting it: ‘Curtis was violently pushed from his left and before he could even push his arm up to say to that person, “stop pushing”, he was punched, blindsided from five other people from his right,’ AJ recalled

AJ added: ‘As you turned to your left you were punched, and you were protecting me, taking the full brunt to the face and kick to the body, you start falling and I realised that in this scenario there’s no winning.’

When asked if they fought back, he replied: ‘Absolutely not.’ 

AJ’s bruising was covered with make-up for the appearance, but he had been injured in the face, torso arms and legs. 

The brothers later appeared on LBC, where they discussed the ordeal further.

‘Curtis was violently pushed from his left and before he could even push his arm up to say to that person, “stop pushing”, he was punched, blindsided from five other people from his right,’ AJ recalled.

Curtis went on: ‘I basically got pushed and I turned to my left and I saw about four lads go to grab AJ and you know I wasn’t thinking about my career, I wasn’t thinking about anything.

‘I was just purely thinking as any other siblings would, I was thinking my brother’s in trouble here you know I need to – we need to get out of this situation we’re in serious trouble. So I literally just felt like.

‘I just put my arm and I dived in front of AJ to try and stop these people from grabbing him and then as AJ said I don’t really remember the rest I just remember bang bang bang.’ 

Support: AJ branded Curtis a ‘real life Superman’ after the ordeal

Reflection: The Strictly Come Dancing star took to Instagram on Monday to share a gushing post about his sibling, as he reflected on the past year

AJ went on: ‘He was definitely knocked out because when he was falling towards the floor being violently kicked and punched I was just like – we gotta get out of this scenario. I then pushed Curtis towards the exit.

‘I definitely won’t be putting myself in any nightclub scenarios anytime soon and the thing is obviously, coming up and doing different tours and there are going to be grounds of people – maybe fans or not fans and it’s going to make me feel not anxious but… slightly on edge.

‘It makes me feel nervous to put myself in that situation in this near future because as much as everything you think is positive, it makes you feel – it’s a very scary scenario.’ 

Tune in to James O’Brien on Monday-Friday from 10am – 1pm on LBC. LBC is available on DAB digital radio and TV, the LBC app, at LBC.co.uk, on the Global Player and in London on 97.3 FM.

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