Radio entertainment and showbiz

Tyler West reveals Strictly journey and social anxiety as a child

The Strictly contestant and KISS afternoon host opened up to fellow co-hosts Jordan and Perri on the station’s breakfast show.

Tyler told the pair that he didn’t even ever think about dancing on the show. He said that he never imagined in his career ever going on something like that.

“It was on the bucket list,” he said. “It’s that surreal feeling because it means I’m able to make people smile and just do something which also felt like fulfilling a dream of mine as well as my family’s,” he added.

For him it is a family thing, the KISS host also revealed he was really doing the show for his mum and his late nana: “My nana, bless her, she was my closest and she’s never got to see any of my presenting work, Strictly was her favourite show so every single time that I go onto that dance floor, I’m imagine nana is looking over me.”

Tyler’s nana passed away before he got his first presenting gig on CBBC. He admitted: “It feels like every single job I do in this industry…you get this giddy butterfly feeling when the reason that you’re doing it is bigger than yourself and it means that you can do something completely different in your stride and you just love and enjoy every second of it no matter how difficult it gets.”

Growing up, he says he was the most shy anxious kid, he didn’t speak very much because he was so shy and anxious, his social anxiety was through the roof. It’s so different for him now, with the fact he’s dancing in front of millions of people, he says “it’s crazy”.

Tyler also went onto say that he hopes his journey will help inspire younger generations: “It’s proven to myself, my old self and also any other kid out there, that’s looking at me on the telly and going oh look he’s from south London estate, I look like him, I sound like him I can do this as well.

“It doesn’t matter where you started off, what sort of upbringing you had, no matter what surrounding you had, no matter what cards you got dealt it doesn’t determine where you end up.

“That’s why if I was to lift the glitterball it almost feels like I’ve completed that, it feels like I’s really bringing it to life and being the perfect example that you are in charge of where you want to end up,” he added.

Between his KISS shows, Strictly rehearsals and other commitments, Jordan asked Tyler what or who is it that allows him to stay so committed and see things through?

He replied that it’s a combination of things, including his past, remembering back to times when things weren’t easy growing up.

Things are different now, he says: “Obviously I’m doing jobs and being able to be in a position where I can support my family that’s an unreal feeling…it’s those things that are amazing to carry on motivating.”

He also says, it’s knowing how maybe it inspires other people in a similar sort of upbringing or a similar sort of background and proving to his past self.

“I think it’s the people you surround yourself with even down to your work colleagues and your support network and your family, you just think of those people and when the reason why you’re doing it is bigger than you, you can go as far as you want,” he added.

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