Strictly Come Dancing contestant Dr Ranj Singh says that telling his wife that he was gay was the toughest moment of his life.
Conceding that he married because of the pressure to settle down and have a family, he said “I was completely broken. It was the lowest point in my life. I can only imagine how hard it was for my wife, though – she didn’t deserve any of that. I feel so incredibly sorry for what she had to go through.”
Ranj’s former wife Sulvinder is a pharmacist and the eldest of Jemera and Manmohan Samra’s four daughters.
Ranj met his ex-wife after he qualified as a doctor in 2003 and they dated for a year before he proposed
(Image: Daily Mirror)
Strictly Come Dancing: Dr Ranj Singh sixth contestant to leave
Speaking this week to the Daily Mail, Mr Samra, 68, said: “A lot of years have passed but whenever I see him on television.
“I either turn it off, switch channels or just walk out of the room. He still brings back a lot of painful memories for me.
“The marriage and why they divorced had a devastating impact on us all.
“We never expected anything like this would happen and if I’m being honest, it’s something that is still a little difficult for me. I have obviously accepted it but it’s still hard.’
Ranj had terrific chemistry with professional dance partner Janette Manrara
Strictly’s Dr Ranj reveals how he encountered shocking homophobic prejudice in the NHS
Reflecting that, at 68, he might be too old to accept the situation he continued: ‘"One of my grandchildren happened to be watching Strictly and got excited when she saw him on television.
“She said ‘look, there’s Dr Ranj.’ All the kids recognise him.”
“I didn’t have the heart to tell her that he was once part of our family, and just walked out of the room.
Dr Ranj Singh clearly had a great time on Strictly
(Image: BBC/Guy Levy)
“You can see that he really enjoys the limelight and has made a name for himself in the celebrity world. I wish him all the best.
“We have all moved on but that doesn’t mean what happened is any less painful.”
Ranj has previously spoken about his struggle for acceptance as a gay man within the medical profession. The 39-year-old said: “The media industry is much more accepting, but I feel like the medical world has a little further to go.
“It’s a bit ironic that the caring profession could ever be prejudiced, but it does happen.
“People like myself and so many others are here to change that, though.”
Ranj is still on screen as This Morning’s resident doctor
Dr Ranj was the sixth celebrity to leave Strictly .
He performed a Samba to George Michael’s ‘gay anthem’ Freedom 90, and though he gave it his best, it wasn’t quite enough to beat Charles Venn and Karen Clifton’s classic Viennese Waltz in the dreaded dance-off.
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