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Caroline Quentin on phone hacking and therapy: ‘I’m not dragging a carcass of misery’

The actor discusses how privacy violations affected her whole family – and what it was like to be at the centre of a Strictly stormCaroline Quentin ha

John James
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High-profile French political scientist accused of sexually abusing stepson

The actor discusses how privacy violations affected her whole family – and what it was like to be at the centre of a Strictly storm

Caroline Quentin had never watched Strictly Come Dancing before she agreed to appear on the show. “I was aware of it and I’d seen clips,” she says. “But I never actually watched an entire programme.” She had been asked lots of times to take part, but was always too busy. Then Covid happened and the play she was rehearsing at the National Theatre was cancelled. She found herself looking at an empty diary. “I thought: ‘I might as well.’”

Quentin and I are talking on a video call. Usually, exit interviews with Strictly contestants are as anodyne as postmatch interviews with footballers, so I expect her to say that she had a fabulous time on the show. But Quentin is very much her own person. Instead, she says: “It’s probably the oddest thing I’ve done … Basically, you’re trapped. I mean, thank God I liked my partner. People say it’s an institution and … I felt a bit institutionalised by the time I came out.”

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