‘Strictly Come Dancing’ contestant and current favourite Peter Andre has made the revelation that his father was sold as a slave in his native Cyprus when he was aged just 11.

82 year old Savvas Andrea has apparently only recently told his son about his childhood on the Mediterranean island in the aftermath of the Second World War, telling him that the family was so short of food that selling some of their 13 children to slavery was the only option to survive.

Peter AndrePeter Andre is one of the favourites to win 'Strictly Come Dancing' as the competition narrows

In a new interview with the Radio Times, the 42 year old former pop star Andre said: “It’s very interesting with my dad because at 11 years old in Cyprus, he was sold as a slave. There were 13 kids. And they had no food, no money. So some of the kids had to be sold to earn money for the family.”

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Andre’s father, who has six children, now lives in Australia but still owns a barber’s shop in London, having come to Britain to make his way in the trade. The star, who then moved from the UK to Australia in 1979, credits his father for instilling a good work ethic in him at a young age.

“And then Dad came back after years. I didn’t know this until recently. And I said, ‘Dad, are you serious?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but son, that was our life.’ So Dad’s determination, what Dad’s achieved in life, is incredible. He came to London not being able to speak a word of English, learnt a trade – he became a barber – and he still owns a barber’s shop in Paddington.”

As well as this extraordinary revelation, Andre also took the opportunity to dismiss the ‘Strictly curse’, which allegedly strikes because celebrities fall in love with their professional dance partners having worked with them for an extended period of time.

He said that he had been looking forward to return home to his wife, 26 year old Emily MacDonagh, after each show. “I don’t believe in the ‘Curse of Strictly’,” he said. “If you wanna go off with someone, you’re gonna do it. [Calling it] that is stirring the pot.”

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