Monday 22 July 2024
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Strictly stars Janette and Aljaz and reveal their lockdown woes to Newark counsellor on podcast

Strictly Come Dancing couple Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec have opened up about their mental health to Newark psychotherapist Kevin Guthrie on his podcast.


The celebrity couple admitted it had been a strain living apart during the show’s run at the end of last year. They met each week on set but were forced to stay two metres apart because of social distancing rules.

Janette Kevin

They told Kevin Guthrie on his ‘Invincible You’ podcast how they coped and offered up tips on mental wellbeing. They were able to live back together in late December after ten weeks apart.

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Kevin Guthrie
Kevin Guthrie

Kevin, who has run his psychotherapist and wellbeing practice in Newark for seven years, offers free Wellness Wednesday and Lockdown Lives sessions on Facebook. He has run them from the start of the first lockdown in March 2020.


Her became friends with the couple after his hairdresser husband Les Jones started cutting Aljaz’s hair.


Kevin said: “I have been helping people navigate the pandemic and stay healthy during lockdown.


“I got to know Janette and Aljaz and have had a few meals out together. I was delighted that they both separately agreed to come on to my podcast.


“Janette spoke about the progress she made with her own wellbeing after following Yale University’s Science of Happiness course. This is a free online course recommended to her by Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts who appeared on Strictly in 2018.


“Janette opened up about her personal growth and how being more self-aware made her more creative on Strictly.”


She also speaks on the 40-minute podcast about the death of her friend and Love Island presenter Caroline Flack.


Kevin said: “Aljaz spoke about his experience of working on Strictly during lockdown and the difficulties this presented. He admitted how difficult it was seeing Janette across the studio floor and not being able to hug her.”


Aljaz was paired with DJ Clara Amfo for Strictly 2020 and Janette made it to the final with singer HRVY.

Kevin said he learned a lot through running his Facebook Live sessions and was thrilled by how popular they are.

He said: “People submit questions during the sessions and beforehand too if they want to remain private. It is the interaction which really makes it worthwhile.

“I am talking away and people are messaging and supporting each other on the chat. It is a community which wants to help each other and is wonderful to see.

“It was something I thought was good to run during the winter months so will be stopping the sessions soon.”


Kevin’s Wellness Wednesdays between 7 and 8pm are backed by Newark and Sherwood District Council. Lockdown Lives sessions at 8.15am each day are still running on his Facebook site here He has recently recorded his 45th one and in the first lockdown recorded 52.


Janette Manrara, 37, and husband Aljaz Skorjanec, 30, are taking their dance show Remembering the Oscars online after cancelling the live UK tour for a second time. Janette has also featured in exercise classes on BBC’s Morning Live.


Kevin joined actor Steve Cawte and Tai Chi expert Wes Mollison at mental health and wellbeing sessions run by Wendy Baird in her Carriages Café in Newark last November.


Kevin’s sessions with Janette and Aljaz are on his YouTube site here and here


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