Maisie Smith, 19, youngest star of Strictly, says teen finds series upsetting

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Maisie Smith is this year’s youngest Strictly contestant and faces a tough battle tonight to stay in the BBC competition. She is pictured above with Gorka Marquez on the show

The EastEnders mouthed teenager she plays can be hard as nails.

But Maisie Smith, the actress behind Tiffany Butcher, is anything but – and nowhere has it become more evident than as a contender on Strictly.

In fact, according to her mother Julia, Maisie is “vulnerable” and “nervous”.

At just 19, Maisie is this year’s youngest Strictly contestant and faces a tough battle tonight to stay in the BBC competition.

Ms Smith revealed her daughter struggled to live on her own and lacked the “comfort” of seeing her parents in the public.

She admitted seeing Maisie in the last two, twice, when she was unable to attend shows in person, due to Covid-19, had left her ‘in tears’ and given her sleepless nights .

The strict rules of this year’s bubble – which allowed the show to unfold – forced Maisie to leave the family home and live on her own for the first time.

Ms Smith said that while Maisie initially viewed this as “exciting,” she has since confessed that returning to an empty apartment after the training means “the novelty fades.”

She told the Daily Mail: “As a parent, it’s not about her victory, it’s not about her position at the top of the table in my eyes, in my opinion. It’s seeing my daughter upset and vulnerable… I want to grab her. At first my husband and I were allowed to sit in the audience… and she was looking over and we were giving her a big thumbs up and she said she missed it.

Ms Smith revealed her daughter struggled to live on her own and lacked the 'comfort' of seeing her parents in the audience.  They are pictured together above

Ms Smith revealed that her daughter struggled to live on her own and lacked the “comfort” of seeing her parents in the public. They are pictured together above

“Knowing that we are far from close, I feel his vulnerability, so it was quite tearful. The last two weekends have been… you know, I didn’t sleep on Sunday night. I stood for three hours pacing the night, thinking, “How can I help him?

“If it was another year than Covid it could be so much better for her to come home, I would make her a nice meal with all of her veg and we would talk about it, and everything would be fine. ‘

Maisie, who is associated with professional dancer Gorka Marquez, 30, ended up in the bottom two for her cha cha cha and salsa.

Ms Smith revealed how much she loved entertaining the family as a child

Ms Smith revealed how much she loved entertaining the family as a child

Their cha cha cha received 24 points from the judges, finishing in the middle of the table, and their salsa received 27 points, which left them in second place in the standings. However, public votes saw them dip in the rankings.

Reflecting on why this had happened, Ms Smith suggested viewers see a candidate take a ‘trip’.

Ms Smith went on to say that it had also been difficult for her daughter to be “Maisie Smith” on the show, as she could usually “hide behind” her character of Tiffany.

“I was so nervous for her to be Maisie Smith in front of the nation because I know how nervous she is getting,” she said.

Maisie first appeared as Tiffany on EastEnders in 2008 when she was just six years old.

Ms Smith revealed how much she enjoyed entertaining the family as a child.

“Most of the girls went to ‘dress up day’ in elementary school as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, but Maisie didn’t, she was adamant she was going to be a flamenco dancer. From the age of two, Maisie would be in disguise and put on a show.

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