Amy Dowden congratulated by fellow Strictly stars on ‘deserved’ MBE

Amy Dowden was congratulated by fellow Strictly Come Dancing stars on becoming a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

The 33-year-old dancer from Caerphilly, Wales, was named in the King’s Birthday Honours for her services to fundraising and raising awareness of Crohn’s disease.

Dowden said she was “still in shock” on her Instagram page on Saturday, adding: “I will always continue campaigning to raise awareness and fund raising for research into this terrible chronic illness.”

Underneath her post, a host of Strictly dancers praised her.

Amy Dowden, standing at an awards ceremony
Amy Dowden has been made an MBE (Matt Alexander/PA)

Carlos Gu wrote: “Why I feel like I’m also (getting the) honour too just by seeing this news, well deserved Ames Xx.”

Katya Jones wrote: “Yes Amy!!!!!!!! So well deserved!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!”

Vito Coppola said: “Wow Amyyyyyy. Yesssss. Don’t be in shock because you deserve this and much more. We love you.”

Dianne Buswell wrote: “Yessssss my sister. I have the biggest smile.”

Former celebrity contestants including Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins and Paralympian Ellie Simmonds also congratulated her.

Simmonds wrote: “Absolutely amazing. Huge Congrats! X”

Dowden is an advocate and ambassador for charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK and has been outspoken about her own struggle with the inflammatory bowel disease, first speaking about it in 2019.

Amy Dowden at the National Lottery Awards
Amy Dowden is an advocate and ambassador for charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Crohn’s is described by the NHS as a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed, and people can experience intense abdominal pain, severe vomiting, exhaustion and bloody diarrhoea, among other symptoms.

She fronted the BBC programme Strictly Amy: Crohn’s And Me, in which she spoke about the condition and met others with Crohn’s to hear about their experiences.

Dowden suffered a flare-up of the condition in November 2021, shortly after the filming of Strictly, when she briefly moved in with her celebrity partner, McFly star Tom Fletcher, and his wife Giovanna, while her partner was away.

In January 2022 she was admitted to hospital in Manchester after Crohn’s developed suddenly while on the Strictly live tour.

Dowden said she did not disclose she had it when she joined Strictly, because she “didn’t want to be known as ‘Amy with Crohn’s’”. She was diagnosed with the condition when she was a child.

She has recently also said she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer after finding a lump in her breast the day before going to the Maldives on her honeymoon with fellow professional dancer Ben Jones last year.

After a mastectomy and chemotherapy, tests showed Dowden has “no evidence of disease”.

She took a break from competing in Strictly last year but will rejoin the cast of professional dancers for the 2024 series.

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